West Java needs an international standard sports arena

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People are taking a picture with Taufik Hidayat (center) in Bandung. (photo: IO/RoosyudhiPriyanto)

IO – Indonesia badminton legend Taufik Hidayat was thrilled to be a part of the torch ceremony in Asian Games 2018 a few days ago in Bandung, West Java.

“West Java is always enthusi­astic when it comes to sports. This province contributes so much to Indonesia’s sports. In almost every Olympic tournament, athletes from West Java secure a gold medal for Indonesia,” he said.

He went on to name Susy Su­santi, who won gold in the 1992 Olympics in Barcelona, Ricky Soe­bagdja alongside Rezy Mainaky who won golds in the 1996 Olympics in Atlanta, Candra Wijaya alongside Tony Gunawan who won golds in the 2000 Olympics in Sydney, Tau­fik himself who won a gold in the 2004 Athens Olympics and Markis Kido alongside Hendra Setiawan who won gold in the 2008 Olympics in Beijing. “They all came from West Java,” he continued.

Unfortunately, according to Taufik, West Java has yet to have a sports arena with international stan­dards, meaning they cannot hold events at a world level. “This means many athletes from West Java have to move to the capital if they want to keep developing,” said Taufik.

Taufik hopes that Indonesia’s athletes will perform well as the hosts in Asian Games 2018 Jakar­ta-Palembang. “It is a bit different competing in multi-event compe­titions, as the pressure is higher because we are representing our nation, but that should also give us extra spirit to fight as hard as we can in the arena,” said Taufik, who won a gold in the men’s single division in Asian Games 2002 in Busan, Korea and in Asian Games 2008 in Doha, Qatar. (Erpe)