Indonesia Pushing for Tennis and Gymnastics in SEA Games

By Ami Afriatni 8 February 2013

After Indonesian support helped bring badminton back to the lineup for the Southeast Asia Games in Burma this year, the country is pushing for two other dropped sports—tennis and gymnastics—to be put on the agenda.

Wibowo Suseno Wirjawan, president of the Indonesian Tennis Association (Pelti), said the federation has been in touch with other federations of countries participating in the Games to raise support for the inclusion of the sport.

“We all have heard about the situation of the preparation for the Games. Now we are trying to make efforts to get tennis back onto the list by corresponding with other countries’ federations,” Wibowo said.

Pelti, Wibowo said, is also corresponding with the International Tennis Federation, hoping to gain the support of the sport’s world governing body to help in the efforts to include tennis in the Games.

Indonesia took home four gold, two silvers, and two bronze medals in tennis at the 2011 Games, with Indonesia’s No. 1 player, Christopher Rungkat, responsible for three out of the four golds.

The Indonesian Gymnastics Association (Persani) has also been engaging in the similar efforts. Together with federations of other countries and the Asian Gymnastic Union, Persani has discussed every possible way to get gymnastics back in the competition.

“We all have major concerns over why the organizers decided to scrap gymnastics from the Games while the sport is competed in the Olympics. We keep discussing it with the host country,” Persani chairman Jati Waluyo said.

Gymnastics is one of original sports of the Olympic movement. The sport has been contested since the 1896 Summer Olympics in Athens.

Rita Subowo, president of the Indonesia Olympic Committee (KOI), said the committee is ready to support both federations in fighting for the sports to be competed in the Burma Games.

“It is not yet the end. We are still in talks with the other countries’ national Olympic committees to fight for the two sports,” Rita said.

Organizers previously dropped badminton from the Games because Burma said it lacked the proper facilities. However, the SEA Games Federation Council meeting last month decided to include the sport in the Games.