President Joko 'Jokowi' Widodo speaking during a welcoming ceremony for returning athletes from the 2016 Rio Olympics at the Presidential Palace in Central Jakarta on Wednesday (24/08). (Photo courtesy of the Ministry of Youth and Sports)

Indonesia to Prioritize Its Most Successful Sports


AUGUST 24, 2016

Jakarta. President Joko "Jokowi" Widodo has hinted at a strategic plan to improve Indonesia's elite sports by instructing Sports Minister Imam Nahrawi to focus on the country's most successful sporting codes as his first priority.

Jokowi made the instruction while welcoming Indonesian Olympians upon their arrival from Rio de Janeiro at the Presidential Palace in Central Jakarta on Wednesday (24/08).

The president said a successful stint at the Olympics will always boost the nation's pride, after Indonesia won more medals than at the 2012 London Olympics.

"I have ordered the sports minister to focus on specific sports that have a higher probability of capturing medals, both in the Asian Games and at the Olympics," Jokowi said, as quoted by Investor Daily.

"In London 2012, we achieved two medals, one silver and one bronze. Now we've progressed with one gold and two silvers," he added.

Badminton, Archery and Weightlifting

The archipelago's most successful sports are inevitably badminton and weightlifting, as they contributed to most of the country's Olympic medals, while archery is deemed the third best sport, despite only winning one silver medal ever since Indonesia started participating in the Games.

Badminton's success for Indonesia is not merely the result of luck, as it has gone through a more systematic process for years.

The Indonesian Badminton Federation (PBSI) has a national camp in Cipayung, East Jakarta, which allows a group of shuttlers to live like in boarding school where they receive training on an almost daily basis from highly qualified coaches, often former Olympic medalists or badminton world champions.

These shuttlers also face intense competition within the camp, having to compete against other national badminton clubs such as PB Djarum.

Taking the national training camp as a benchmark, the sports minister has responded with claims that his side will create an Olympic Center, replicating the badminton national camp, in Cibubur, East Jakarta, to focus on the most successful sports.

"I've sped up the decision; some sports such as archery and weightlifting will have a national camp in Cibubur. We'll provide all the necessary facilities, such as doctors, equipment and boarding houses," Imam said on the ministry official website.