Indonesia 2018: Home hopes06.10.2018
Athletes aiming to delight the hosts at Asian Para Games
With the Indonesia 2018 Asian Para Games getting underway, we take a closer look at the home-grown stars who are hoping to bring home glory over the next eight days.
Eighteen sports will be contested by nearly 3000 athletes from 43 Asian countries until 13 October and Indonesia is targeting a top-seven finish in the medals tally.
In the last Games at Incheon 2014, Indonesia finished in 17th position with 20 medals including just four gold.
The hosts will field a team of 296 athletes at this Games, with their medal hopes resting on veteran stars like Agus Sasanto while some promising names like Syici Indriani will look to make a mark at home.
Here is the list of Indonesian stars to watch out for during the third edition of Asian Para Games.
Ni Nengah Widiasih - powerlifting
She is the most popular Para athlete in the country and will be expected to lead the home contingent at Indonesia 2018. At Rio 2016, the 28-year-old became the first Indonesian to win a Paralympic medal in powerlifting, when she claimed the bronze in the women’s up to 45kg. A silver medallist at the Incheon 2014 Asian Para Games, Ni Nengah will certainly be aiming to turn the colour of her medal this time around to gold.
David Jacobs - table tennis
The London 2012 bronze medallist is one of the most experienced stars in the home contingent and hopes will be on him to retain the men’s singles class 10 title he won at Incheon 2014.
Agus Susanto - table tennis
The 51-year-old is another veteran star in the home contingent and will be a top medal contender in men’s class 5 events. He is also a gold medallist from Incheon 2014.
Ukun Rakaendi - badminton
Indonesia will have high hopes of Rakaendi finishing on the podium in the Para badminton men’s SL3. The Incheon 2014 winner was also the surprise player in the last World Championships where he won two golds, despite being unseeded at the start of the competition.
Fredy Setiawan - badminton
He is among the favourites in the men’s singles SL4 and is also expected dominate in the SL3-4 doubles category by pairing up with seasoned Hary Susanto. Setiawan was a double gold medallist at Incheon 2014.
Leani Ratri Oktila - badminton
Indonesia’s top female Para badminton player, Oktila should once again rule the courts in the SL3 category riding on an excellent season. At the recent Thailand Open in July, she completed a three-gold haul, winning her singles, doubles and mixed doubles events in straight games. She also came out triumphant, winning triple gold at the 2018 Irish Para Badminton International.
Sapto Yogo Purnomo - athletics
The promising athlete has already shown his prowess at the 2017 ASEAN Para Games winning double gold in the 100m and 200m T37 events, and he will be looking to win his first Asian Para Games medal at Indonesia 2018.
Nur Ferry Pradana - athletics
The 23-year-old is another young talent in the home athletics contingent who will be eager to scorch the Gelora Bung Karno track. He clinched three gold medals in the T47 (100m, 200m and 400m) events at the 2017 ASEAN Para Games in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.
Putri Aulia - athletics
Aulia, along with another promising athlete Ni Made Arianti Putri, will be aiming to take the one-two positions in the women’s 100m and 400m T13 events. They were the gold and silver medallists at last year’s ASEAN Para Games.
Abdul Halim Dalimunte - athletics
Setyo Budi Hartanto - athletics
Hartanto followed his long jump T47 bronze medal show at Incheon 2014 with another bronze at the 2015 World Championships before turning it into gold at the 2017 ASEAN Para Games.
Marinus Melianus Yowei - swimming
The freestyle S13 swimmer will be the home favourite at the pool and is expected to repeat his gold medal show in the men’s 100m breaststroke SB13. He should also be in medal contention in the 50m and 100m freestyle S13, in which he claimed two silver medals at Incheon 2014.
Syuci Indriani - swimming
The 17-year-old is the youngest athlete in Indonesia’s swimming team and will be among the top contenders in the 50m and 100m freestyle S14 events, as well as the 100m breaststroke SB14. She won gold in both freestyle and breaststroke at the 2017 Kuala Lumpur ASEAN meet and was the recipient of the Asian Award for Best Young Athlete in 2016.
Jendi Pengabean - swimming
Pengabean will be eager to make a splash at the Gelora Bung Karno pool and repeat his 2017 ASEAN Para Games show where he won three golds in the men’s 400m freestyle S9, 100m backstroke S9 and 200m individual medley SM9 events.
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