Indonesia: Young Athlete Late for Olympic Debut

This post is part of our special coverage London 2012 Olympics.

With a population of 220 million, Indonesia is sending only 22 athletes to compete in seven sporting events at the 2012 London Olympics. The size of the delegation was criticized after reports emerged that 54 sports officials, or double the number of athletes, are attending the games too.

The youngest athlete from Indonesia, 16 year- old Diaz Kusumawardani, was all set to compete in the women’s 10-meter air rifle competition. Diaz grabbed the Olympics ticket after reaching the required 388 limit score  at the Asian Shooting Championship in Doha, Qatar, last January and she was supposed to be ready to make her Olympics debut in London.

She was even released early from marching duty in the parade during the opening ceremony for her big moment.

Indonesian athlete Diaz Kusumawardani. Photo from twitter page of Diaz

But by the next morning her preparation fell apart, according to the tweets from her personal twitter account. Apparently, her coach told her that the race will begin at 9am. When they arrived in the venue, Royal Artillery Barracks, they found out the race was set to begin at 8.15am and other athletes have already prepared their equipment.

She explains the morning rush in her twitter account: [Id]

@diazdkw Great ya, datang telat hasil tak maksimal.

@diazdkw: Great, arrived late and didn't reach maximal outcome.

@diazdkw Yang bilang tanding jam 9 itu siapa ya? Uhuk ga ikut TM sir

@diazdkw: Who said the race begins at 9 am? Did you attend the technical meeting?

@diazdkw Jangan sampe kesalahan tolol ini terjadi lagi ya, atlet dan pelatih harus tau tanding jam berapa. Jangan sampr misscom dan lebih profesional

@diazdkw: Next time, please avoid this stupid mistake. The athlete and the coach must know exactly what time they must be present in the venue. Avoid miscommunication and act more professionally.

Out of 56 contestants, Diaz finished second to the last. Her comments and the issue became a controversial topic in mainstream and social media.

@zenrs Dg jumlah official 2 kali lipat lebih banyak dr jumlah atlet, masih ada cerita atlet datang mepet ke arena. Ngapain aja di sana official?

@zenrs: With more officials than athletes, we have situation like this, athlete arriving late in the venue. What are you doing there, officials?

@AyuWidy Diaz Kusuma satu2 nya atlit tembak Indonesia di Olimpiade telat dateng ke venue. Bener2 konsisten bawa budaya ngaret. Anda luar biasa!

@AyuWidy: Diaz Kusuma is the only Indonesia shooting athlete, but she came up late in the venue. Really consistent in bringing out our time discipline culture. You're amazing!

@ayshardzn Diaz Kusuma,1st Indonesian to compete in London (Shooting) came 1 hour late to venue. Finished 55th from 56. 1 hour late! #London2012

@khalidolit Atlet cabang nembak, Diaz Kusuma telat sejam ke venue. Karena telat adalah budaya bangsa.

@khalidolit: Diaz Kusuma, shooting athlete, arrived an hour late in the venue. Because being late is our nation's culture.

Last Monday, Diaz used her Twitter again to clarify that she didn't arrive after the race began, but that she arrived when the race was about to begin.

@diazdkw konfirmasi ya, saya tidak telat sejam ke RAB. tolong dong jangan terlalu membesar2kan.

@diazdkw: I want to confirm, I didn't arrive an hour late to RAB [the venue]. Please don't overexpose it.

@diazdkw saya tidak pernah marah atau menyalahkan siapapun tentang hasil saya kemarin, saya minta kepada semuanya jangan membesar2kan ini.

@diazdkw: I have never been angry or blamed anyone about what I achieved yesterday, I beg people for not overexposing this.

Over the years, Indonesia has won six gold medals  at the Olympics,  all of them for badminton.

This post is part of our special coverage London 2012 Olympics.

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