Monday, September 03, 2007

Classic car lovers in trans-Java rally

Sunday, September 02, 2007

The Jakarta Post, Jakarta

Hundreds of vintage car fans kicked off a weeklong rally Saturday along the historic 1,000 kilometer road connecting the westernmost and the easternmost parts of Java island.

The rally is to remember the building of the road in 1808. During the construction of the road, it is claimed that at least 30,000 people died of starvation and overwork.

The rally, which runs from Sept. 1 to 8, and is being participated in by 85 vintage cars and more than 250 passengers, will travel along the 2,500 kilometers from Anyer in Banten to Panarukan in East Java.

The 1,000 kilometer road from Anyer to Panarukan, known as "Jalan Raya Pos" (De Groote Postweg), or the Great Post Road, was constructed at the command of Netherlands Indies Governor General Willem Herman Daendles in 1808.

The construction of the road finished in 1810.

"Many people died during the building of the road. They are the heroes who laid the foundations for our development," said the chairman of the Indonesian Vintage Car Association (PPMKI), Bambang Rus Effendi, at the kickoff ceremony at the State Ministry for Youth and Sports Affairs.

"We hope this rally will help us appreciate what our forefathers did for the people of today."

Participating in the rally were cars produced in the 1920s, such as a 1928 Ford A, a 1927 Chevy Truck, a Chevrolet Bel Ai, and a Fiat from the 1950s.

Two cars that belonged to first president Sukarno -- a 1947 Chrysler Windsor and a 1963 Imperial -- also took part in the event. The cars respectively belong to Hartawan Setjodinigrat and Budiono Widodo.

Hartawan, chairman of the rally's organizing committee, said the rally was the 27th to be held since the Indonesian Vintage Car Association had been established in 1979.

The committee had laid on everything regarding accommodation, car service and participants' healthcare.

"We have prepared everything, but have focused mostly on engines as these cars are old," said Hartawan.

Along the rally route, the participants will visit many heritage sites -- legacies of the Netherlands Indies -- including a lighthouse in Anyer that was designated by Daendels as the starting point for the road's construction in 1808.

One of the PPMKI's founders, Solihin GP, who is a former West Java governor said that "We want to teach the nation that we can be proud of old objects. We can travel everywhere around the country so as to enjoy our rich nature and culture."

"We also want to teach the young generation to take risks to achieve their goals so they do not misuse the independence that we have gained with blood," said Solihin, who is also a retired Army general. (02)

Australia outshines India in opener

Saturday, September 01, 2007

The Jakarta Post, Jakarta

Australia started its campaign in the opener of the Asian Volleyball Championship here by thrashing India 3-1 at Bung Karno Indoor Tennis Stadium in Senayan, Central Jakarta, on Friday.

The 1999 and 2001 silver medalists were stunned by the Indian team, which stole some points to win the first set 25-22.

Led by captain Benjamin Hardy, Australia managed to bounce back to dominate the rest of the game.

"In a couple of sets, we were left behind," Australia's coach Russell Borgeaud said after the match.

"Some of our guys were a little bit nervous ... it was an important match.

"So India kept attacking us."

"But the players survived the attacks to lift their intensity and their level of play to win the next sets."

He said his team needed to improve their performance if they wanted to win the tournament.

"We are inconsistent ... we still have some work to do ... but this is a good start," he said.

India coach G.E. Sridharan said his team played well in the first set but Australia's players managed to penetrate their defense in the following sets.

Sridharan said his team had to play all out in the next game against 1993 finalists Kazakhstan on Saturday to realize their hopes of making the top eight.

"It is not impossible ... we have met them once previously and we won," Sridharan said.

In other opening matches, Taiwan tasted victory by trouncing Qatar 3-1, while 2003 bronze medalists Iran defeated Vietnam 3-1. Later in the day, Kazakhstan outclassed Kuwait 3-0.

On Saturday, Australia is set to meet Kuwait, Kazakhstan would take on India and Iran would face Pakistan.(02)

RI shuttlers skip India, ready for Japan, Taipei

Friday, August 31, 2007

The Jakarta Post, Jakarta

Indonesia's shuttlers have decided to skip the India Super Series and prepare themselves for their next assignments in Japan and Taiwan, following last week's bomb blasts in the southern Indian city of Hyderabad, the site of the competition.

The head of the training division of the Indonesian Badminton Association (PBSI), Lius Pongoh, said the association had sent a letter to the Badminton Association of India to notify them that the Indonesian squad would not fly to the country for safety reasons.

"We decided to cancel our participation in the tournament due to security concerns. The bomb blasts were very close to the badminton venue," Lius said Thursday.

Last week's double explosions killed at least 42 people and injured 50 in Hyderabad, where the tournament was planned to be held from Sept. 4-9.

Lius added that the chairman of the Indian Badminton Association, VK Verma, had also informed Indonesia of delays to the event, but said no definite revised date had been set.

However, Lius said he was unconvinced the Indian association would end up setting a different date to the one originally planned, since it would place the tournament only days away from the Japan Super Series from Sep. 11-16 and the Chinese Taipei Grand Prix from Sep. 18-23. (02)

Asian Volleyball c'ship to test region's best

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

The Jakarta Post, Jakarta

The Asian Men's Volleyball Championship will be give Asian teams a chance to turn around their disappointing performances since the 2004 Olympics, the chairwoman of Indonesia's Sport Council (KONI) Rita Subowo says.

"The achievement of Asian countries in volleyball has been on the decline since the 2004 Olympic Games in Athens. The men's teams could hardly get through the Olympic qualifications, while a women's team took the world championship," said Rita, who is a newly elected member of the International Olympic Committee (IOC), during a press conference Tuesday.

Rita said the IOC had decided to establish a taskforce to help improve the performance of Asian volleyball teams ahead of the 2008 Olympic Games in Beijing, China.

The Championship, which will be held in Jakarta from Aug. 31 through Sep. 8, will be the first top-level international volleyball event held in Indonesia.

"In 1989, Indonesia also hosted an international championship but it was only a junior championship," Rita said.

She added that the Indonesian team should use their participation in the championship to gain the playing experience needed to improve their performance.

National team manager I Nyoman Sukesna said he was optimistic the Indonesian team would put up a strong fight at the championship, having prepared since February of this year. He said the team had taken part in national and international events, including the national Proliga championship and the Asian Men's Club Championship in Bahrain.

"We took position six from the 18 teams participating in the men's championship in Bahrain, so I believe that the team is getting more confident about its performance. Our target is a spot in the top six so we can be included in Olympic qualifications," Sukesna said. (02)

Indonesia aims high at Asian men's volleyball tourney

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

The Jakarta Post, Jakarta

With most players' heights well under the average of those competing in the upcoming 14th Asian Senior Men's Volleyball Championship, Indonesia's team will resort to a variety of offensive schemes to balance its opponents' advantage, said the team's assistant coach.

"We are preparing the team to play quick, multiple offensives. The players should receive the ball carefully so others will be able to build sharper assaults," assistant coach Machfud Irsyada told The Jakarta Post on Monday.

Machfud is optimistic the team will be able to maintain their stamina.

The championship, which will use a rally point system, will be held from Aug. 31 to Sept. 9 at the Indoor Tennis Stadium at the Senayan Sports Complex in Central Jakarta.

Teams from 17 Asian countries and Australia will take part in the competition.

The Indonesian host team, together with three other defending champions -- Japan, China and South Korea-- will play in the main draw comprising eight teams. Indonesia will join group A along with the Maldives, Qatar and Taiwan.

Indonesia's players are among those with lowest average height in the competition. Only three countries have an average height below that of Indonesia - Vietnam, Sri Lanka and the Maldives.

Australia and Kazakhstan are the countries with the tallest players. Each has nine players with a minimum height of 200 cm. Kazakhstan has two of the tallest players in the competition -Svyatoslav Miklashevich and Anton Yudin, at 210 cm each.

Meanwhile, the women's team will participate in Thailand from Sept. 5 to 13.

The women's assistant coach, Victor Laiyan, said there was no special target for the women's team other than to gain more game-time experience in preparation for the 2011 SEA Games in Indonesia.

Victor said the women's junior team, consisting of eight members, had been sent to Cuba for training in preparation for future competitions. (02)