Entering the middle of the 2018 Asian Games, on Sunday (26/8), Indonesia managed to collect 12 gold, exceeding the gold that Indonesia had won when it first hosted the Asian Games in 1962.
Rifki Ardiansyah Arrosyiid presented Indonesia’s 11th gold from the men’s 60 kg karate number, and Aqsa Sutan Aswar followed with the 12th gold from the jetski branch for endurance runabout.
Arrosyiid beat Iran’s Amir Mahdi Zadeh 9-7 in the finals, and the performance of the 20-year-old man who was once a member of the Indonesian National Armed Forces has fueled coach Syamsuddin’s optimism about Indonesia’s chances at the Olympics in Tokyo in two years, where karate will be competed for the first time. .
“I am very happy. This is only the second day of the tournament and we have managed to get gold through Rifki,” Syamsuddin told Reuters.
Mohamad Hasan Basri’s victory in the 65 kg at the 2002 Asian Games was the last time Indonesia had won gold in karate.
“I am sure we will succeed in the Olympics later. Indonesia has tremendous potential in karate,” said Syamsuddin.
“Karate is very popular here. It’s a big country, and the competition is incredibly tough at the school and university level.”
Syamsuddin hopes Indonesia maintains the quality of their performance on Monday where four gold medals in karate are up for grabs.
“The last time Indonesia won gold for karate was in 2002. Now we have our first gold and two bronzes. We hope tomorrow we can get more medals.”
Also read: Tennis wins Indonesia’s 10th gold at the Asian Games
Indonesia is targeting to win 16 gold at the Asian Games this time. [dw]