ITS–Table tennis is perhaps the most popular ball game in Indonesia, compared to lawn tennis or the currently booming, squash. Played at a small venue, table tennis is easily found in every corner of the country. For almost the past two decades, table tennis, usually called ping-pong, has provided Indonesia a gold mine in its bid for supremacy in the Southeast Asian games.
The 12th SEA Games in 1983 gave Indonesia cause for disappointment when it walked away without a single gold medal for the first time. Indonesia bounced back in the following years, regaining its firm grip by winning at least four gold medals since 1987. It produced a clean sweep in the last SEA Games in 1993, taking all seven gold medals in the table tennis competition.
Such an encouraging feat owes a lot to the long-term development program pursued by the Indonesian Table Tennis Association (PTMSI). An annual league competition pitting all clubs, called Silatama, has long served as the scouting ground for national talent.
Empie Wuisan, Sinyo Supit, Diana Wuisan have all entered the national table tennis hall of fame. Rossy Pratiwi Dipoyanti and Hadiyudo, who joined the all-conquering team in the SEA Games, now spearhead Indonesia’s challenge. They last finished among the top 30 in the world championships in Tianjin, China.