Jakarta. Indonesia secured six more gold medals in pencak silat at the Asian Games in Jakarta on Wednesday (29/08), bringing the sport's total contribution to the country's overall tally to 14.
The country is currently in fourth place on the 2018 Asian Games medal table, after winning 30 gold, 22 silver and 35 bronze medals, according to Syafruddin, head of the country's contingent.
This is the first time pencak silat has been included in the Asian Games, after Indonesia used its prerogative as the host nation to propose several sports in which it was likely to excel. Besides pencak silat, the country also included paragliding, climbing, jet ski, skateboarding and bridge in this year's event.
The country's first gold medal on Wednesday came courtesy of Sugianto, who won the pencak silat men's singles artistic event. He scored 471 points, beating Ilyas Sadara of Thailand to second place with 460, followed by Almohaidis Abad of the Philippines with 455 points.
According to Sugianto, he only expected to earn 460 points in the final.
His victory was emulated by Indonesian duo Ayu Sidan Wilantari and Ni Made Dwiyanti, who won gold in the women's doubles artistic event, with 574 points. Saowanee Chanthamunee and Oraya Choosuwan of Thailand finished second, while Nor Hamizsh Abu Hasan and Motlaya Vongphakdy of Malaysia were third.
Indonesia's third gold medal on Wednesday came from the women's team, comprised of Pramudya Yuristya, Lutfi Nurhasanah and Gina Tri Lestari, who collected 466 points – two more than the Vietnamese team of Nguyen Thi Thu Ha, Nguyen Thi Huyenm and Vuong Thi Binh. The Thai team consisting of As Ma Jeh Ma, Yuweeta Samahoh and Ruhana Chearbuli won bronze.
The fourth gold medal came from Pipiet Kamelia, who defeated Nguyen Thi Cam Nhi of Vietnam in the women's Class D 60-65-kilogram event.
Hanifan Yudani Kusumah secured Indonesia's fifth gold medal of the day, after winning the men's Class C 55-60 kg, while the sixth came from Wewey Wita's win in the women's Class B 50-55 kg event.
Indonesia also won eight gold medals in pencak silat on Monday. The first three were courtesy of Puspa Arumsari (women's singles), Yola Primadona Jampil and Hendy (men's doubles), and Nunu Nugraha, Asep Yuldan Sani and Anggi Faisal Mubarok (men's team event).
The next gold medal came courtesy of Aji Bangkit Pamungkas in the men's first class 85-90 kg, followed by Komang Harik Adi Putra in the men's Class E 65-70 kg event.
Monday's last three medals were won by Iqbal Chandra Pratama (men's Class D 60-65 kg), Sarah Tria Monita (women's singles 55-65 kg) and Abdul Malik (men's singles 50-55 kg).
Indonesia's eight gold medals in pencak silat on Monday, followed by two more in the climbing competition, saw Iran losing its fourth place on the 2018 Asian Games medal table.
This prompted Reza Salehi Amiri, head of the Iranian National Olympic Committee, to lodge a verbal complaint with Olympic Council of Asia president Sheikh Ahmed al-Sabah over the inclusion of pencak silat in this year's event, the country's Mehr News Agency reported on Tuesday.
Amiri reportedly said the OCA's recognition of pencak silat and the inclusion of medals won in the sport in the 2018 Asian Games final medal count were "unjustifiable, irrational and totally unfair."
The OCA responded to the complaint by reiterating that every host nation has the right to propose non-Olympic sports for inclusion in the Asian Games.
However, Iran plans to file an official complaint with the OCA.
Indonesian chef de mission Syafruddin said all matches in pencak silat were judged properly and fairly, in accordance with the rules, with the use of technical aids, such as video cameras.
"I think it is hard not to be objective. There are eight judges [in every match], all of them using cameras. They replay the videos three times to ensure that they make the best judgment calls," Syafruddin explained.
He added that Indonesia has been working on a proposal to make pencak silat an official sport in the Asian Games.
"On [the inclusion of] pencak silat [in the 2022 Asian Games] in Hangzhou, hopefully there will be some good news soon. We have been discussing the matter with the OCA," he said, adding that Indonesia will also propose it becoming an Olympic sport.
Athletes of 52 countries competed in pencak silat at this year's Asian Games.