Aryati Larasati, student of Faculty of Forestry of Universitas Gadjah Mada won third place in the Asian kayak competition held by the International Canoeing Federation (ICF) in Thailand last December 2012. She won in the female strong current category. The competition was joined by some 40 participants from students and athletes in Asia, including from Cambodia, Korea, Malaysia, Myanmar, Singapore, Taiwan and Thailand.
Laras said the competition was a series of activities in the training camp run by the International Canoeing Federation. For 17 days from 2-18 December, participants were given training related to canoeing and manouvres. Trainers came from Japan, Germany and France. “Training was given in two classes, canoe and kayak classes, which were grouped into male and female groups,” she explained on Thursday (17/1) on campus.
The success of the girl born in Yogyakarta, 23 November 1989, was not easily grasped. She had to pass selection at the national level first where she competed with 30 participants from Indonesia in Jatiluhur. Her hard work gave her victory, making her entitled to represent Indonesia in the Asian level competition with three other winners from other categories.
Laras had not expected to win the competition and represent Indonesia as most of the other participants were real athletes joining the Indonesian Canoeing Association. “May be they did not win as they got used to flat water. I have been trained in strong current, which most likely made me a winner,” she said.
In the competition in Thailand, she struggled with 8 other participants in the strong current category where they had to pass barriers through 22 gates along the Maetang river. “We had to pass 22 gates, really challenging as we also had to canoe against the current in the difficult route and tough opponents,” said the alumnus of SMA N 2 Solo highschool.
In her opinion, concentration and stamina as well as balance were much required in the competition. “In the race to get the third place, I competed with a Malaysian participant who lost balance so that her kayak was overturned,” she said, adding that the first and second winners were from Taiwan dan Thailand.
Just like when she was declared the winner in Indonesia, Laras was suprised to be able to come third. So was her friends at UGM. “This was the first competition I joined and won, so I was very happy. I hope I can make more achievements in the future,” said the girl with the headscarves.