Thursday, January 10, 2008

Lifters seize two more golds at SEA Games

Monday, December 10, 2007

Matheos Viktor Messakh, The Jakarta Post, Nakhon Ratchasima

National weight lifters dominated the weighlifting events at the 2007 SEA Games on Sunday, taking two out of the three gold medals at stake.

Newcomer Edi Kurniawan made a surprising lift of a total of 167 kilograms to snatch the gold in the men's 69kg, while Triyanto recorded a lift of 290 kilograms in the men's 62kg.

Edi, the 2007 national champion, only managed to lift 132kg in the snatch, while rival Sitthishak Suphalak of Thailand lifted 137kg at his second attempt. Edi tried to improve his lifting but failed on the second and third attempts.

In the clean and jerk, he lifted 160kg in his first attempt, while Suphalak lifted 162kg. Edi tried to force his luck on the second attempt with 167kg, but to no avail. But Suphalak also failed in his attempt.

In the last attempt, both lifters managed to lift the barbels but Edi was declared the winner because is lighter than the Thai -- 68.29kg compared to Suphalak's 68.63kg. Suphalak took the silver while Nguyen Hong Ngoc of Vietnam got the bronze.

Edi did a jubilant somersault on stage to cheer the Indonesian crowd at the College Assembly Hall of Nakhon Ratchasima Vocational College.

"He has the potential to be a world-class weight lifter. He just joined the national training camp for two months but he has great willpower," team manager Syafriadi Cut Ali said after the event.

"His rival (Sitthisak Suphalak) has been competing in international events for a few years," he added.

Earlier in the day, Triyanto lifted a total of 290kg, far ahead of runner-up Niwat Kriphet of Thailand (278kg) and bronze medalist Naharudin Mahayudin of Malaysia (265kg).

The 20-year-old Triyanto successfully lifted 130kg in his first attempt in the snatch but failed to increase it to 132kg. Kriphet could only lift 126kg, and failed to lift 130kg in his last attempt, while Mahayudin lifted 120kg.

In the clean and jerk, the Indonesian lifted 155kg on the first attempt while Kriphet and Mahayudin lifted 152kg and 135kg, respectively.

Both Triyanto and Kriphet failed in their second attempts to lift 160kg. But at the last chance, only the Indonesian could do so to ensure him the top place.

With two additional gold medals, Indonesia has so far collected three golds in weight lifting. Earlier on Saturday, Eko Yuli Irawan won the gold in the men's 56 kilograms.

Indonesia hopes to earn more gold medals from Sandow Weldemar Nasution in the men's 77kg and Sinta Darmariani in the women's 75kg events on Monday.

Syafriadi said Indonesia had now secured a quota of four weight lifters to compete in the 2008 Beijing Olympics as a result of its recent international performances.

"God's willing, we will send our best lifters to the Olympics. The winners at the SEA Games will be our priorities for competing there," he said.

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