Indonesia 2018 Asian Para Games: Home-grown stars to watch out for

 With the Indonesia 2018 Asian Para Games around the corner, we take a closer look on the home-grown stars who are expected to bring home glory during the upcoming Jakarta Games.

Eighteen sports will be contested by nearly 3000 athletes from 43 Asian countries this October and Indonesia is targeting a top-seven finish in the medals tally. In the last Games in Incheon 2014, Indonesia finished in 17th position with 20 medals including just four gold.

“Our target is to finish in rank sixth or seventh in Asia. It can be achieved if we get 16 to 17 gold medals,” said Chairman of the Indonesian National Paralympic Committee Senny Marbun, in Solo, Central Java recently. 

The hosts will field a balanced team of 296 athletes at this Games, with their medal hopes resting on their veteran stars like Agus Sasanto while some promising names like Syici Indriani will look to make a mark at home.

Here’s the list of Indonesian stars to watch out for during the October 6-13 Games, the third edition of Asian Para Games.

Ni Nengah Widiasih (Upto 45kg – Powerlifting)

She is the most popular para athlete from the country and will be expected to lead the home contingent in Indonesia 2018. In Rio 2016, the 28-year-old became the first Indonesian to win a Paralympic medal in powerlifting, when she claimed the bronze. A silver medallist at the Incheon 2014, Ni Nengah will certainly be aiming to turn the colour of her Asian Para Games medal.

David Jacobs (TT10 – 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 TT10 gold men’s singles he won in Incheon 2014.

Agus Susanto (TT5 – Table Tennis)

The 51-year-old is another veteran star in the home contingent and will be a top medal contender in TT5 events. He is a gold medallist from Incheon 2014.

Ukun Rakaendi (SL3- Badminton)

The host Indonesia will have high hopes from Rakaendi to finish on the podium in para badminton SL3 event. The Incheon 2014 winner was also the surprise player in the last World Championships where he won two Gold medals, despite being unseeded at the start of the competition.

Fredy Setiawan (SL4- Badminton)

He is among the favourites in SL4 men’s singles event, and is also expected dominate in SL3-4 doubles category pairing up with seasoned Hary Susanto. Setiawan was a double gold medallist at Incheon 2014.

Leani Ratri Oktila (SL3- Badminton)

Indonesia’s top female para badminton player, Oktila should once again rule the courts in 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 FZ Forza Irish Para Badminton International 2018 in Dublin.

Sapto Yogo Purnomo (T37 – 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 Jakarta 2018.

Nur Ferry Pradana (T47- 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.

Putri Aulia (T13-Athletics)

Aulia alongwith another promising athlete Ni Made Arianti Putri should be aiming to take the one-two position in 100m and 400m T13 events. They were the gold and silver medallists in Kuala Lumpur ASEAN meet.

Abdul Halim Dalimunte (T11- Athletics)

Bronze medallist at the T11 and 4 x 100m Relay T11-13 events at Incheon 2014, the 34-year-old should be aiming to improve his result this time around.

Setyo Budi Hartanto (T47- Athletics)

Hartanto followed his T47 Long Jump bronze medal show at the 2014 Incheon Para Games with another bronze at the 2015 World Championships before turning it gold at the 2017 ASEAN Para Games in Kuala Lumpur. 

Marinus Melianus Yowei (S13-Swimming)

The S13 freestyle swimmer will be the home favourite at the pool and is expected to repeat his gold medal show in 100m Breaststroke SB13 event. He should also be in medal contention in 50m and 100m freestyle S13, in which he claimed two silver medals at Incheon 2014.

Syuci Indriani (S14- Swimming)

The 17-year-old is the youngest athlete in Indonesia’s swimming team, and will be among the top contenders in 50m and 100m freestyle S14 events, and SB14 100m breaststroke, in which she has won gold medals at the 2017 Kuala Lumpur ASEAN meet. She was the recipient of the Asian Award for Best Young Athlete in 2016.

Jendi Pengabean (S9- Swimming)

Pengabean will be eager to make a splash at the Gelora Bung Karno pool and repeat his 2017 ASEAN meet show when he won three golds in 400m freestyle S9, 100m backstroke S9 and 200m individual medley SM9 events.

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