October 31, 2023
JAKARTA – Indonesia finished sixth overall at the Asian Para Games in Hangzhou, China, with 26 gold medals, exceeding its initial target of 19 golds and making the top 10.
The Indonesian contingent consisted of 134 athletes who competed in 12 sports from Oct. 22 to 28. The team also won 21 silver medals and 32 bronze medals, making for its highest achievement since the 2018 Asian Para Games in Jakarta, when the country finished fifth overall with 37 gold, 47 silver and 51 bronze medals.
Indonesia was the highest ranking Southeast Asian country in the final tally at Hangzhou, followed by Thailand and the Philippines in seventh and ninth place, respectively. China ranked first with a total of 521 medals.
At Hangzhou, eight new Asian Para Games records, three Asian records and two world records were set by Indonesian athletes.
Para athlete Partin Muhlisin won the gold medal in the men’s 100m-T42 sprint, setting the Asian Para Games record of 12.24 seconds. He also won a silver medal in the men’s long jump-T63. The T42 and T63 categories are for athletes with a single above-the-knee disability who compete in running or jumping.
“I’m so happy with my result, not to mention that this gold medal is also my first medal in Asia-level competition,” Partin told The Jakarta Post on Saturday.
“My hope for people with disabilities is that we should not let our limitations become a barrier for us to excel in life, be it in terms of sports, education or many other things,” he said.
Slamet Widodo, the athletics coach at the National Paralympic Committee (NPC), said the athletes had “achieved the best because of their hard work during training and their maximum effort during competition”.
“We will now evaluate how we competed [in Hangzhou] so that we can fix our shortcomings, and hopefully we will perform better [in the 2024 Summer Paralympics in Paris, France],” Slamet told the Post on Saturday.
Indonesia also bagged some surprise wins at Hangzhou, including in boccia, a precision ball sport that debuted as a Paralympic medal event in 1984. Felix Arhi Yudha defeated Malaysian Lee Chee Hoong 5-3 to secure the gold for Indonesia.
In the blind judo competition, Roma Siska Tampubolon won the first ever gold for Indonesia.
On Friday, Youth and Sports Minister Dito Ariotedjo praised the Indonesian contingent for passing the gold medal target at the Hangzhou Para Games, describing it as a “significant achievement”, while President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo said the athletes had “put Indonesia in the top level of Asian sports competition”.
Following Indonesia’s strong performance in the Para Asiad in Hangzhou, NPC deputy secretary-general Rima Ferdianto said the country was now seeking to finish in the top 40 in next year’s Paris Paralympics, better than its 43rd-place finish in the last games in Tokyo in 2021.
“We hope we can field 30 athletes from nine sports, including archery and boccia,” Rima said during a press conference in Hangzhou on Saturday.
Indonesia has collected 27 medals at the Summer Paralympics since the country’s debut in 1976 in Toronto, Canada. At the last Paralympics in Tokyo, Indonesian athletes won two gold, three silver and four bronze medals, marking their best achievement so far at the paralympic games. The country has never participated in the Winter Paralympics.
The 2020 Tokyo Paralympics saw Leani Ratri Oktila and Khalimatus Sadiyah win gold in women’s doubles badminton. The pair also won a gold for Indonesia in the Asian Para Games on Friday.