Thursday, January 10, 2008

RI athletes add more gold to the pot

Sunday, December 09, 2007

Damar Harsanto and Matheos Viktor Messakh, The Jakarta Post, Nakhon Ratchasima, Thailand

Indonesia's athletes gave it their all Saturday claiming six gold medals, four silvers and one bronze at the 24th Southeast Asian Games.

Track and field contributed two golds and one silver through Triyaningsih and Rini Budiarti who finished one-two in the women's 5000 meters and Dwi Ratnawati in the women's discuss throw.

Eighteen-year-old weight lifter Eko Yuli Irawan lived up his top billing as the 2006 Junior World Championship champ to clinch gold in the men's 56 kilogram division. Fellow weight lifter Okta Dwi Pramita finished second to win the silver in the women's 53kg division.

Meanwhile, two unexpected golds were won in wrestling and bowling. Little-known wrestler Fachriansyah snatched the gold in the men's freestyle 74kg division, while 17-year-old bowler Tannya Roumimper grabbed gold in the women's singles event.

Good news also came from the water with four-strong rowing team -- Samlia, Femy Batuwael, Femmy Yuwartini Elia and Ratna -- fighting back from third place in the last heat and stealing the gold medal in the women's lightweight four event. Indonesia also collected two silver medals from men's pair Iswandi and Agus Budi Aji and in the women's lightweight double sculls thanks to Sri Rahayu Masi and Bertin.

Later in the day, fencer Isnawaty Sir Idar won the bronze in the women's individual ep‚e, while swimmer Muhammad Akbar Nasution finished third in the men's 200m individual medley.

However, Indonesia missed some chances in the events it dominated in the 2005 Philippines Games, including the men's singles bowling event. Defending champion and 2006 Asian Games winner Ryan Leonard Lalisang unexpectedly slumped to 25th position.

With Saturday's result, Indonesia has so far collected seven gold medals, nine silvers and 11 bronze and moved from seventh to sixth in the medal standing.

Host Thailand -- targeting 150 gold medals as a birthday present to King Bhumibol Adulyadej -- remains the leader followed by Vietnam, Singapore, the Philippines and Malaysia.

Indonesia will have the chance to add more gold medals to its bag after setting a final clash against the host in the men's and women's tennis team finals.

Indonesia whitewashed the Philippines 3-0 thanks to old hand Romana Tejakusuma and Sandy Gumulya who played the singles events and 2005 double SEA Games gold medalist Wynne Prakusya partnered with Angelique Widjaja in the doubles. Thailand thrashed Malaysia 3-0.

In water polo, Indonesia extended its winning streak by beating Malaysia 15-7. The Philippines will be the next opponent in the round-robin preliminary match Sunday.

Other gold-medal hopefuls on the badminton court will kick off their campaign Sunday in the men's and women's team quarterfinals. Indonesia hopes to win four golds from its top shuttlers.

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