Jakarta (ANTARA) - As the new year has arrived, the highly anticipated multi-sport event Paris 2024 Summer Olympics is getting closer.

The event will be an opportunity for Indonesian athletes to prove themselves and excel.

The 2024 Olympics will become the 33rd edition of the games after modern Olympic games were introduced in 1896. It is the third time for France to host the multi-sport event after previously in 1900 and 1924.

So far, five Indonesian athletes have secured a spot to compete in the event that will take place from July 26 to August 11.

Nevertheless, there are still opportunities for other athletes to join archers Arif Dwi Pangestu and Diananda Choirunisa, gymnast Rifda Irfanalutfi, and climbers Desak Made Rita and Rahmad Adi Mulyono to compete in the event held every four years.

The Ministry of Youth and Sports, Indonesian Olympic Committee (KOI), and National Sports Committee of Indonesia (KONI) are targeting more athletes to qualify for the Paris 2024 Olympics.

Earlier, Indonesia had sent 28 athletes and one alternate athlete during the Tokyo 2020 Olympics. At the event, Indonesia finished with five medals: one gold, one silver, and three bronze.

"The hope is that there will be more athletes who qualify for the Paris Olympics compared to the Tokyo 2020 Olympics," Secretary General of KONI Tb. Lukman Djajadikusuma told ANTARA.

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Opportunities for Indonesia
Indonesia still has opportunities to have more athletes qualify for the multi-sport event, as various important tournaments are due to be held to collect points and qualifiers for several mainstay sports, including badminton and weight lifting.

Djajadikusuma stated that all relevant parties, including the government and sports federations, are focusing on preparations for the Olympics.

For several sports, their athletes have already qualified for the Olympics, while in other sports, the qualifiers had yet to be completed.

He affirmed that hopes are pinned high on Indonesia being able to continue its medal-winning tradition, both in badminton and weightlifting. In addition, medals are expected to be secured in rock climbing, as some Indonesian athletes are world record holders, he noted.

For badminton, the Olympic qualification period (Race to Paris) commenced on May 1, 2023, and will conclude on April 28, 2024. The Race to Paris Ranking List as per April 30, 2024, will be used to determine the initial qualifying list.

The total quota places for badminton is 172 comprising 86 for men and 86 for women. Each National Olympic Committee (NOC) has a maximum of eight quota places for men and a maximum of eight quota places for women.

So far, several Indonesian top badminton athletes, such as Jonatan Christie, Anthony Sinisuka Ginting, Gregoria Mariska Tunjung, Fajar Alfian, Muhammad Rian Ardianto, Bagas Maulana, Muhammad Shohibul Fikri, Apriyani Rahayu, and Siti Fadia Silva Ramadhanti, have big opportunities to secure a spot in the Olympics since their ranks in the Race to Paris list are relatively safe in the top 10.

Furthermore, for weightlifting and rock climbing, Indonesia's top athletes, such as Eko Yuli Irawan, Veddriq Leonardo, and Kiromal Katibin, need to participate in several crucial tournaments to secure more points to qualify for the Paris 2024 Olympics.

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Not only through intensive coaching and training but the athletes are also preparing themselves by partaking in various elite tournaments.

The COVID-19 pandemic, indeed, also played a role in making these athletes to always be in a ready mode because several competitions, including multi-sport events, had to be postponed and then carried out at relatively short intervals.

For instance, the Hangzhou 2022 Asian Games, held in 2023, took place not long after the Tokyo 2020 Olympics that was held in 2021. The two multi-sport events were earlier postponed due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The short intervals between competitions become a challenge for athletes, as they have to stay in good mental and physical condition.

"The championships that are held every now and then are to improve what is still lacking, so that at the top of the championship at the Olympics, everything will be special," Head of the Indonesian Men's Singles Badminton Coach Irwansyah remarked.

Badminton athlete Jonatan Christie stated that the busy tournaments in 2023 and 2024 can be faced with thorough preparation.

He expressed optimism that the preparation would help him to perform maximally at every competition.

“There are many events going on, so it drains your energy and mind, and the muscles you use can face problems too. I think there are many aspects that make things possible, so then again, preparation for the event is the most important," he remarked.

A sense of determination in the athletes and administrators coupled with the prayers of the people are expected to ignite the spirit, so that more familiar names from Indonesia will be able to compete in Paris.

Apart from that, Indonesian young athletes are also expected to be able to create new history for the country.

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Translator: Arnidhya Nur, Raka Adji
Editor: Yuni Arisandy Sinaga
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