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‘I want to lead the Indonesian national team to the Olympics’: Megawati

Former Daejeon Jung Kwan Jang Red Sparks outside hitter Megawati Hangestri Pertiwi is keen to chase greater success, with her eyes set on playing in the Olympics.

“I want to lead the Indonesian national team to the Olympics and reach a big stage,” Mega said during an interview with the JoongAng Ilbo earlier this month. “I want to be a legend and the best in the world.”

Mega, 24, joined the Red Sparks ahead of the 2023-24 V League season through the Asia Quota draft and saw success at the team, establishing herself as a key player and leading her side to the postseason 메이저 토토사이트 for the first time in seven years.

She was not only the team’s top scorer but the seventh top scorer in the league with 650 points.

Her remarkable form on the court raised her popularity in Indonesia, with her pictures placed on multiple banners on the streets in the country.

Her popularity is visible even though volleyball is not the most popular sport in her home country.

“I am happy because I didn’t think that people would be this enthusiastic about me,” Mega said during the interview. “I can’t believe that I introduced volleyball to Indonesia and raised the popularity of the sport in the country. I am thankful and happy for that, but that gives me a bigger responsibility.”

Her performance last season also earned her the nickname “Indonesian Kim Yeon-koung.” Kim is a Korean volleyball legend, who led the Korean national team to the semifinals twice — at the 2012 London Olympics and 2020 Tokyo Olympics.

“Kim is like an idol to me, and I still can’t believe that I got that nickname,” Mega said.

Unlike Kim, however, Mega has never played in the Olympics, as the Indonesian women’s team has never qualified for the Games before.

The team has seen previous success at the Southeast Asian Games, though, having won one gold, seven silver and 11 bronze medals. Mega won three bronze medals — in 2019, 2021 and 2023 — and one silver in 2017.

She will have to wait longer until she can compete at the Olympics, as the Indonesian women’s team will likely fail to secure a berth at the upcoming Paris Olympics in which 12 countries compete.

Seven countries have qualified for the Olympics, and five remaining berths will be given to countries based on FIVB world rankings in June, prioritizing those from the continents without a qualified team in the Games.

No African team has qualified for the tournament yet, and No. 21 Kenya and No. 25 Cameroon sit well above No. 55 Indonesia.

Until Mega can compete at the Olympics, she will likely be in V League action. She has rejoined the Asia Quota draft for the 2024-25 season that takes place from April 29 to May 1. Players must rejoin the draft each year as their existing club cannot automatically re-sign them at the end of the season.

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