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BEHIND THE VICTORY

Aqsa Aswar reveals the keys to be a successful athlete.

Aqsa Sutan Aswar is one of Indonesian jet ski athletes who managed to make Indonesia famous in various world jet ski championships. His love for jet ski was passed on from his father, Saiful Sutan Aswar, who also known as a jet ski instructor. “My father used to bring my brother and I to an island every week and we rode a jet ski. At first, it was just a hobby and, eventually, it became serious,” Aqsa says. Aqsa had his first ride when he was only 5 years old and started to race since he was 6 years old.

Aside from jet ski, Aqsa has tried several sports like go-cart and taekwondo but, in the end, he made his choice to jet ski. “I could never be bored with jet ski, it's different and anti-mainstream. It gives me freedom since there are no rules and traffic lights in the sea,” he adds.

At young age, Aqsa already has a lot of international achievements, such as Runner Up in Stock class of 12th Mark Hahn Endurance, Arizona; 1st winner in Pro Runabout Limited of US National Tour; and Gold Medallist in Pro Am Runabout Stock class of Jet Ski World Cup 2018, Thailand. However, for Aqsa, the gold medal in Asian Games 2018 is his biggest achievement. “I've never been that happy to win a competition because I could make Indonesians proud and my father as well. I'm happy because I could prove to myself that I can do it,” Aqsa explains. It was his first time to participate in Asian Games and he was terrified that he would be a disappointment. “That was quite tense, especially because I raced in my home-town and everybody watched me, so I didn't want to let them down. I told myself that I have to win,” he says.

Surely, all the triumphs wouldn't be achieved without hard work. Aqsa goes to the gym on a daily basis and practices jet ski on weekends but when he prepares for a competition, he intensifies his training. For instance, when he trained for Asian Games 2018. “My brother and I had 6-month training in Arizona, United States, and it was really tight. We went to gym three times a day and practised jet ski three times a week,” Aqsa explains. Though riding jet ski might seems fun, in reality it is actually harder than it looks. “Practising jet ski is quite tough, it's not always easy and fun. People only know the happy part, which is when we win, but they don't really know the struggle behind it,” he adds.

He believes that discipline, commitment, and consistency are the keys to be a successful athlete. Even when he is bored with the routine, Aqsa never stop training. “I can't stop practice for too long. Otherwise, I would feel guilty to myself. If we stop practice just because we are lazy, why do we become an athlete in the first place?” Aqsa says.

According to Aqsa, jet ski industry has gain popularity in Indonesia as more people start to be interested in jet ski. “If you're interested in jet ski, just try it first. If you find that you really love it then you should join a race but it's not easy and you have to be disciplined,” says Aqsa as he shares advice for those who interested in jet ski. In the future, Aqsa is eager to win the more international competition. “I want to be the world champion every year if I could,” he closes.

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