Jakarta (ANTARA) - President Joko Widodo has asked the Indonesian contingent to win more than 69 gold medals and finish first or second in the medal standings at the 2023 SEA Games in Phnom Penh, Cambodia.

"I ask you to bring home more than 69 gold medals and finish in the top two. Therefore, the choice is either first place or second place," he said at Merdeka Palace in Jakarta on Tuesday.

The target will not be easy to achieve, he noted. However, he said he believes that all 599 athletes participating in the SEA Games have the competence and capability to achieve better results than in the previous edition of the Games in Vietnam.

At the 2022 SEA Games in Vietnam, Indonesia reached third place in the medal standings. The red-and-white contingent comprising 499 athletes brought home 69 gold medals, 91 silvers, and 81 bronzes.

"I see these athletes have enough preparation to compete in Cambodia," the President said.

According to Youth and Sports Minister Dito Ariotedjo, Indonesia will compete in 31 of the 36 sports contested in Cambodia.

Indonesia is sending 599 athletes, 230 coaches and officials, and supporting teams for the biennial multi-sport event, which will be held from May 5–17 this year.

"Some sports have been started earlier, such as football, cricket, and indoor hockey," Ariotedjo said.

In accordance with the National Sports Grand Design (DBON), participation in the SEA Games is only an intermediate target for fostering national sports achievements and evaluating athletes’ readiness for the Asian Games and the Olympics, he emphasized.

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Translator: Shofi Ayudiana
Editor: Azis Kurmala
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