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After two years, Eko Roni Saputra finally gets a chance to come home to Indonesia

Eko Roni Saputra has been with Evolve Fight Team in Singapore since late 2018. [Photos: ONE Championship]
Eko Roni Saputra has been with Evolve Fight Team in Singapore since late 2018. [Photos: ONE Championship]
Ben Imperial

ONE Championship athlete, Eko Roni Saputra, may only be a few miles away, but like most foreigners living and working in Singapore, he has not been able to visit his home country since the COVID-19 outbreak.

As the Lion City eases up on travel restrictions, Eko Roni Saputra took the chance to finally visit his family back home in Indonesia. In an interview with ONE Championship, the 30-year-old shared how special this time is for him:

“I spent the last two Ramadhan fasting months in Singapore. I have always been in contact with my family through the phone, but it feels different to meet them in person. I have always had this plan of going home, but I also had to consider many things with works, quarantine and everything.”

While technology has been able to keep everyone in touch despite the distance, there are obviously some things that the 30-year-old Eko Roni Saputra missed about seeing his family in person.

“I just want to meet them, hug them. I have always missed them. I miss my mother. I want to go out with them, eat together and spend time with them before going back to Singapore on 24th December. That’s the moment that I missed. I have many friends in Singapore, but it feels different to be in your own hometown.”

The reunion with his family will definitely be a special one, but he thinks that his wife will appreciate it even more.

“As an athlete, being away from family is not something new for me. But this is a new experience for my wife to be away from her family for such a long time. So the meeting is more emotional for her than me.”

Eko Roni Saputra looking to have a ‘quiet’ homecoming

Two years may have been a long time away from home, but Eko Roni Saputra is not planning to meet too many people when he returns. He believes that COVID-19 is still a looming threat, and he is still watching out for it.

“Because of the COVID-19 restrictions, I wouldn’t be able to have as many activities as I want to. I must maintain physical distance too, right? No big party or something, but we’ll have a family gathering. I don’t want to hold excessive activities.”

Eko Roni Saputra is a national hero, having represented Indonesia at the Southeast Asian Games, and his return is a newsworthy story for local media. However, he had to decline most interviews due to restrictions and protocols.

Instead, Eko Roni Saputra hopes to be able to fulfill his filial duties to his parents while he is back in his hometown of Samarinda:

“I want to be a good child for my parents. I haven’t been able to directly take care of them recently particularly after my mother is sick. She was a victim of a hit-and-run accident two months ago. Her leg is wounded. This time, I want to dedicate my time to her.”

Edited by Saiyed Adeem Karim

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