Sprinter Rasyidi Rasyidi got to test the track at the Gelora Bung Karno Main Stadium where he hopes to win a medal in front of his home crowd come October’s Indonesia 2018 Asian Para Games in Jakarta.
The 31-year-old claimed the 200m T44 event during the Indonesia Para Games Invitational Tournament, which wrapped up on 3 July and served as the Test Event for the Asian Para Games. But he believes he can run faster than his 25.40-second winning performance in four months’ time.
“The 200m were tough but I like the track here,” said Raysyidi, who captured the 100m and long jump gold medals at the China Open Athletics Championships in May. “It is in good condition and much like the ones in Beijing and Qatar.”
Rasyidi was one of 369 athletes who competed across athletics, badminton, table tennis, swimming and wheelchair basketball. The Test Event also saw nearly 2,000 school students fill the stands.
“It’s time to make Indonesia proud through our performances,” Rasyidi said. “The government’s support towards Para sport has also become fair. Now people know more about Para sport here.”
The wheelchair basketball event, which had teams from Thailand, Malaysia and Indonesia, proved a spectator favourite.
Meanwhile, as the table tennis competition served as the qualifying event for Indonesia 2018 and the Tokyo 2020 Paralympics, a maximum number of 141 players from 13 countries took part; and also saw technical officials, coaches, referees and volunteers ensure the smooth conduct of the event.
“You can create a legacy for Para sport in Indonesia,” Asian Paralympic Committee (APC) President Majid Rashed said after the badminton event. “I wish you good luck. Prepare well and bring glory to your nation.”
Indonesia 2018 Organising Committee (INAPGOC) President Raja Sapta Oktohari said: “We have come this far with all your support. I know we still need to improve in many things. But we promise to deliver one of the best ever Games. We have three areas of focus — sports, Games Village and transportation. So special buses are being deputed, ramps and elevators are being built to create a friendly environment for the athletes with impairments.”
Gatot Dewa Broto, Secretary of the Indonesian Ministry of Youth and Sports, confirmed that arrangements are being done while keeping in mind the high standard of accessibility and mobility. He also said that special measures will be taken to ease traffic during the Games.
Indonesia 2018 will be the third edition of the Asian Para Games, with around 3,000 athletes competing in 18 sports from 6-13 October. More information is available on the APC’s website