(Round-up) Papua celebrates soccer, West Java is the overall winner

Jayapura (ANTARA) – Hosts Papua ended beautifully the XX National Sports Week (PON), the biggest sporting event in the country, after appearing as champions in the most popular and prestigious sport, men’s soccer.

In the final which took place at the Mandala Jayapura Stadium, Papua defeated Indonesia’s westernmost regional team, Aceh, with a score of 2-0.

With this victory, the hosts succeeded in securing the gold medal for the men’s soccer PON Papua, while Aceh had to settle for silver. While the bronze medal was won by East Java, which in the early match defeated East Kalimantan 3-2 through extra time.

This is the third PON gold for Papua from the men’s soccer sport, after they also won it in the 1993 edition in Jakarta and 2004 in South Sumatra.

The head coach of the Papuan men’s soccer team, Eduard Ivakdalam, believes that winning the Papua PON gold medal is God’s answer for their hard work over the past two years.

“I think what we’ve been trying to build these two years with the kids, I think God has answered all of this,” said Eduard after the game.

The matter of getting closer to God, said Eduard, was a mutual agreement between the players since they began to prepare for the Papua PON.

“And that they continue to do every day so that in the end what shortcomings we have on the field can always be covered by God’s decision,” he said.

“With the cohesiveness of the team, the togetherness of the team. This is a team that doesn’t complain a lot, doesn’t shout a lot, but in the end God can answer all of that,” said Eduard.

Especially for the final match, Eduard felt that there was a very striking difference compared to when they met Aceh in the last six. At that time Papua was quite dead and only got a 1-0 victory through Samuel Gideon Balinsa’s speculative shot.

In the final, the Papuan players appeared so dominant as well as sharp on the front lines.

According to Eduard, it cannot be separated from the swift support of the home fans. The Mandala Stadium Tribune was packed with almost no gaps when the final was played, even in open corners people were willing to come and sit among the grass to support the Papuan team.

The presence of the heavy support, admitted Eduard, was able to erode the fatigue felt by the players, even though they only had one day’s break from the semifinal match against East Kalimantan.

“It must be admitted that there is a difference between the top six and today. Today, although tired and tired, there were so many people who came to support,” said the former Persipura Jayapura captain.

“This is a new energy for the players, they have faith and one determination but they leave everything to God.

“And that they can show until the game ends, they keep running it,” concluded Eduard.

The victory of the Papuan football team completes the overall achievement of the contingent because the easternmost region managed to make a big leap by placing fourth in overall medal gains.

Based on official data from PB PON Papua as of Thursday night at 23.00 WIT, Papua managed to reap 93 gold, 66 silver and 102 bronze, followed by Bali with 28 gold, 25 silver and 53 bronze.

These results far exceed the achievements of PON 2016 which is in eighth place with 17 gold, 19 silver and 32 bronze.

The convincing victory for men’s football in the top party made the hosts dissolve with joy because it completed their overall achievement.

The soccer final is one of the sports that finishes all matches at a party that has started since last September 27 and was officially opened by President Joko Widodo at the Lukas Enembe Stadium, Jayapura.

On Friday (10/15), the sporting event, which will be attended by around 7,000 athletes from all 34 regions, will only hold a closing ceremony, also at the Lukas Enembe Stadium.

According to the plan, PON XX Papua will be officially closed by Vice President Ma’ruf Amien.

West Java defends the overall champion

Meanwhile, the West Java contingent, which since the last week has begun to show strength by one by one overtaking DKI Jakarta and East Java, is unmatched to defend the overall title after winning 133 gold, 105 silver and 115 bronze.

DKI Jakarta, which was involved in a fierce competition until the last second with East Java, finally finished second with only a narrow margin of silver and bronze medals.

DKI won 110 gold, 91 silver and 100 bronze medals, while East Java, which had followed in third place, finally slipped in third place with 110 gold, 89 silver and 88 bronze.

Additional gold medals for West Java, which further strengthened its position at the top, were achieved through the women’s team kata karate, weight lifting, swimming, athletics, diving and weight lifting.

Before locking the overall title for the second time in a row, the Tanah Pasundan contingent had a tough time competing with two other regions which are traditionally the main forces in every PON event, namely East Java and DKI Jakarta.

For West Java, the success of becoming the overall champion is the fifth and last when it hosts 2016. The record for the most wins is still held by DKI Jakarta, which is 11 times and the last one was in 2012 in Riau.

Meanwhile, East Java has only become the overall champion twice, namely in 2000 when it became the host and in 2008 in East Kalimantan.

Throughout the history of PON, only four regions dominated the champions, namely DKI, West Java, West Java and Central Java. Central Java emerged as the champion in the first PON in 1948 when it was still represented by the Surakarta Residency.

Reporter: Atman Ahdiat
Editor: Didik Kusbiantoro


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