Funding is not the only crisis Indonesia’s contingent has to face ahead of the 2014 Asian Games, as some athletes had to withdraw due to injury and health problems.
The Indonesia Badminton Association (PBSI) had to drop Simon Santoso from the team due to dengue fever, while veteran karateka Umar Syarief is likely to pull out due to a shoulder injury.
Simon contracted dengue fever shortly before the Badminton World Federation World Championship, which took place in Copenhagen earlier this month, and he’s still receiving treatment, badminton team manager Lius Pongoh said.
“Simon has yet to recover fully, so we decided to drop him from the team. Even if we force him to go, he can’t play,” Lius said on Thursday.
PBSI has nominated Jonatan Christie to replace Simon and it is currently waiting for confirmation from the organizers.
Umar meanwhile, injured his shoulder during last week’s Basel Open Karate Masters tournament, where he won bronze. It’s old injury he picked up during last year’s Southeast Asian Games.
“[The injury] started to return and I’m currently undergoing treatment. I hope the federation can find a good replacement. If not, I can still go and fight,” Umar said.
Prima, the special body in charge of the athletes’ preparation, acted fast, replacing the SEA Games medalist with Suryadi to compete in the men’s 60kg division.
“[Suryadi] is a promising athlete. I can guarantee that. He can grab a bronze at least,” Umar said.
Equestrian athlete Valentino Lumenta also had to withdraw from the dressage event after his horse was reportedly injured.
“The equestrian team will feature four riders only,” Indonesia contingent chef de mission Suwarno said after Thursday’s send-off ceremony at the youth and sports ministry office.
Athletes also complained about delayed distribution of equipment and apparel. National lifter I Ketut Ariana said he and teammates were forced to use old apparel during training.
“I’ve been wearing the same shoes I wore during the preparation for last year’s SEA Games. It was not good for our training. Weightlifting needs a good stand. Without one, it brings poor results in the lift because ideally the shoes only last a maximum of a year,” said Ariana who had to spend Rp. 3.5 million ($300) of his own money to buy new shoes.
However, that is not interfering with his goal of keeping the medal tradition alive in the men’s 69kg after senior lifter Triyatno moved to the 77kg category.
“I want to continue the tradition. I want to win at least a bronze,” Ariana said.
Having postponed its departure, the advance team left for Incheon on Thursday to handle administration the process with the organizers. The team is also taking along 80 percent of the total board and lodging fees.
Some athletes, including rowing, wrestling and judo, were already in Incheon in an effort to acclimatize and even for competition.