Surabaya, East Java (ANTARA) - Youth and Sports Minister Dito Ariotedjo on Saturday asked Muay Thai athletes who competed in the qualification round of the National Sports Week (PON) to set their sights on winning international championships.

"Athletes who won the PON Muay Thai qualification should not be quickly satisfied with the achievements, but must increase their targets to make the Indonesian flag rise in international events," the minister said at Gelora Pancasila Sports Complex here.

He praised the Indonesian Muay Thai executive board (PBMI), which assisted the Muay Thai athletes.

"Muay Thai sports are becoming more massive," he noted.

Muay Thai is one of the sports in which athletes can win medals during international championships, he said.

"Therefore, the central government will continue to provide support so that Indonesian Muay Thai will continue to grow," he added.

Meanwhile, acting chair of the qualification committee, M. Ali Affandi, expressed his gratitude for the minister's presence at the event.

"I am grateful that the busy minister, who was supposed to go to Thailand to support the Indonesian national football team at the AFF Cup final against Vietnam, was willing to go to Surabaya all the way from Jakarta," he said.

He apologized for any shortcomings during the implementation of the PON Muay Thai qualification round.

"I apologize if there were unfavorable things that happened during the implementation of the PON Muay Thai qualification round in East Java, and I also want to express my highest and sincerest wishes to the entire organizing committee," Affandi said.

At least 463 Muay Thai athletes from 30 Indonesian provinces participated in the qualification. They competed under 4 categories and 18 classes.

Meanwhile, Deputy Minister of Tourism and Creative Economy, Angela Tanoesoedibjo, who was present at the event, praised the involvement of the East Java Chamber of Commerce and Industry and micro, small, and medium enterprises (MSMEs).

"I think this is a very interesting concept, we will duplicate and replicate this concept in other regions," she said.

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Translator: Abdul H, Naufal I, Kenzu
Editor: Rahmad Nasution
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