Indonesia's Wrestling Role Model: East Kalimantan

Indonesia's Wrestling Role Model: East Kalimantan

East Kalimantan's wrestlers during a training session. Photograph taken in 2014. | Photo: Sahrudin

EAST KALIMANTAN has become a barometer of wrestling development in Indonesia besides South Kalimantan.

The province has been regarded as a “storehouse” of dozens of outstanding wrestlers.

Between the mid-1980s through the end of the 1990s were the heyday of East Kalimantan’s wrestling.

Some even say achievements have been made since 1970s.

Suryadi Gunawan was one of East Kalimantan’s remarkable athletes. He often represented Indonesia in international wrestling events.

Suryadi represented Indonesia at the 1998 Olympic Games in Seoul of South Korea in the Men’s Light-Flyweight (106 lbs/48 kg), Freestyle.

Mr Suryadi (born May 25, 1966) also won gold medals at the 1987 and the 1997 SEA Games.

Other East Kalimantan’s wrestlers were just like Suryadi: they brought home medals in several regional dan international wrestling competitions.

East Kalimantan’s wrestlers performances have steadily declined since the 2000s. But it didn’t last too long.

East Kalimantan’s PGSI (the Indonesian Wrestling Association) seem to always look for ways to improve their wrestlers’ performance.

A wrestling center has been built in Samarinda, the capital of the province.

The provincial goverment has also established the SKOI, a secondary school that aimed to produce elite, world-class athletes.

They have now bounced back from adversity. The heydey of East Kalimantan’s wrestling will likely, sooner or later, to happen again.[sahrudin]
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