Remembering the History of the First Indonesian Olympic Medal Team

Sumber Foto: detikSport/Rengga Sancaya

The 1988 Seoul Olympics became one of the milestones for the history of the Indonesian Team at the biggest sports party in the Olympic world. It was then that for the first time the Red and White Contingent, success for the first time on the podium, won a silver medal, an offering from archery in women’s team numbers.

It was the trio of Nurfitriyani Saiman, Lilies Handayani and Kusuma Wardhani who became heroes for the first time being able to win medals for Indonesia in the Olympics, after the participation of the country since 1952.

On the way to the podium when the Indonesian princess archer, managed to defeat the United States archery team, and down gave birth to the legend ‘nine arrows’.

At that time, Hwarang Field, which was inside the South Korean military complex in Seoul, was a silent witness, how the team that was coached by coach Donald Pandiangan was the first to bring home a medal for the Indonesian people with silver results.

Initially, the Indonesian and United States (US) women’s team archery team had to rematch because both of them pocketed a score of 952. Lilies, Nurfitriyana, and Kusuma again had to duel with archers from the land of Uncle Sam in the last number 70 meters.

Indonesia actually had outperformed the hosts South Korea (258) and the US (253) with a score of 259 in the number 30 meters. But at 50 meters, Indonesia can only collect 237 points, which is the same as the US and only three points behind South Korea.

In the third round at 60 meters, Indonesia again declined to third place, with 235 points. One rank below the Soviet Union could gain up to 241 points.

The peak occurs at number 70 meters. In this last party, South Korea is getting stronger at the top with 243 points. While the Indonesian Team is still stuck in seventh place with 221 points, before finally rematching it with the US.

In the rematch with the US, nine arrows that slid from the Srikandi Indonesia Trio arc, always pinned right on the target board, until finally managed to collect 72 points. This result was more than enough to defeat the US, which was only able to gain 67 points, after one arrow slid out of the target.

This achievement can be said to be very surprising, if you see how unlucky Indonesia in the number of individual women. Lilies and Kusuma must lose in the quarter-finals. While Nurfitriyana can only reach the semifinals.

The silver medal finally became Indonesia’s first medal, after 36 years of competing in the Olympics. This also aroused the motivation of many other athletes going forward, in achieving the highest achievements in various international events.

Evidently, four years ago at the same event at the 1992 Barcelona Olympics, Susy Susanti won a gold medal. At that time, Susy beat South Korean foe Bang Soo-hyun with a score of 5-11, 11-5 and 11-3.

At the same event, Susy’s gold nick was also successfully followed by other Indonesian Team Badminton players. From the men’s singles sector, Alan Budikusuma, successfully bent his compatriot Ardy B Wiranata with a score of 15-12, 18-13. Since then, Indonesia has always had a tradition of winning medals at the last Olympics in 2016, Rio.


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