Accompanied by First Lady Iriana, President Joko Widodo officially closed the 2022 ASEAN Para Games XI at the Manahan Stadium, Solo, Central Java. In his speech, Jokowi underlined how this competition shows that disabled groups are still able to make brilliant achievements. Indonesia, added the President, is also proud to be chosen to host the event today.
In particular, Jokowi congratulated and thanked all the athletes who had participated. These athletes have given the message that limitations and difficulties are not obstacles.
“Para Games athletes, thank you for giving the message that limitations and difficulties are not obstacles. With commitment and hard work, disabilities are able to score a million achievements.”
The organizers of the ASEAN Para Games reduced the number of spectators inside at the closing ceremony. While at the opening of the event last week there were around 15,000 spectators who packed the stadium, but at the closing only about 10,000 were allowed in. The number of invitations to the general public used to fill all 4,500 seats, but now only less than half are allowed to come in person, namely 2,000 seats. Seats for the general public are available through online registration and are free.
In the closing procession of the 2022 ASEAN Para Games, the ASEAN Para Games Federation flag was also handed over from representatives of the Indonesian government to representatives of the Cambodian government which will host the next ASEAN Para Games in 2023.
Indonesia General Champion
The Indonesian contingent won the most gold medals and became the overall champion of the 2022 ASEAN Para Games. The chairman of the Indonesian contingent, Andi Herman, Friday (5/8) night said that the Indonesian contingent’s gold medal gain of more than 170 was far from the contingents of 10 other countries and far above the set target of 104 gold medals. According to Andi, Indonesia became the overall champion of the 2022 ASEAN Para Games.
“Today, I dare to declare that Indonesia won the overall champion of the 2022 ASEAN Para Games,” Andi said.
Andi further revealed that there were three sports in the 2022 ASEAN Para Games that failed to win a gold medal, namely Wheelchair Basketball, Goal Ball, and Wheelchair Tennis. Eight other sports, Andi added, won gold medals twice the target. Athletics, swimming, weight lifting and badminton are the sports with the most gold medal winners.
Indonesia is at the top of the standings with 175 gold, 144 silver and 107 bronze medals. Thailand is the second country with 117 gold, 113 silver and 88 bronze. Next, Vietnam is in third place with 65 gold, 62 silver and 55 bronze.
The government has prepared bonuses and awards for the medal-winning Indonesian contingent athletes. Minister of Youth and Sports, Zainudin Amali, while watching the CP football match at the UNS Solo Sebelas Maret University Stadium, Friday (5/8) afternoon, said that the bonus for medal-winning athletes in the 2022 ASEAN Para Games is the same as the bonus at the 2022 SEA Games.
“Yes, of course we will give bonuses. Only non-disabled athletes can, especially those with disabilities. President Jokowi also makes equality for that, between SEA Games athletes and Para Games athletes, disabled athletes and non-disabled athletes, the same,” Amali said.
At the 2022 SEA Games, athletes who win each gold medal will receive a prize of Rp. 500 million, a silver medal of Rp. 300 million, and a bronze medal of Rp. 150 million.
The achievements of the ASEAN Para Games 2022 are a foothold in the ASEAN Para Games 2023 and the Paris Paralympics 2024.
Spokesperson for the National Paralympic Committee of the NPC Indonesia, Rima Ferdianto, said that for the ASEAN Para Games 2023 Cambodia, the NPC prioritizes athletes and sports who win gold medals.
“The policy will be facing the ASEAN Para Games in Cambodia next year. The plan that is being trained is for athletes who won gold medals at the 2022 ASEAN Para Games. Automatically, for second-tier athletes, we will find our own sponsors to dispatch them because of the flying hours in multi-event events. very important”, explained Rima to VOA, Friday night (5/8).
Rima further explained that Indonesia will also focus on the 2024 Paralympics in Paris, France. [ys/em]