Thursday, January 10, 2008

RI glitters in track with shining Suryo

Saturday, December 08, 2007

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

Just like his name, Suryo Agung Wibowo, 24, brought a light to the Indonesian camp with his gold medal in the men's 100 meter sprint at the SEA Games on Friday.

Suryo -- whose name means sun -- crossed the finish line in 10.25 seconds to become the fastest man in the region and a new Games record holder. The old record was set by Reanchai Seeharwong of Thailand in 1999.

The victory was an improvement from Suryo's previous performances at the Games. In 2003 he went home empty-handed, and two years ago he took the bronze.

Once Suryo crossed the finish line, the Indonesian contingent turned joyous, shaking each others' hands in celebration.

The good news -- ending a desperate week-long wait for a gold -- came shortly after Indonesia took silver in the equestrian dressage team event and, from Zulkarnaen Purba, the men's 400m hurdles.

Rini Budiarti added a silver in the women's 1500m, while Irene Truitje Joseph, the 1999 Games gold medalist, took the bronze in the women's 100m.

Coming into the second day after the Games' official opening, Indonesia had flopped in shooting, table tennis and mountain biking.

Cyclists in the mountain biking cross-country event failed to win medals. The only medal in the sport was a silver from Popo Ario Sejati in the men's downhill race.

In wushu, Indonesia's Asian Games silver medalist Susyana Tjan lost grip on her spear and failed to score well. Her junior, Lindswell, who finished fourth in the World Championships in China last month, also scored low.

Swimmer Felicia Leksono finished second slowest in the women's 100m freestyle.

Muhammad Akbar Nasution was edged out by Miguel Molina of the Philippines in the 400m individual medley by only 0.06 seconds and had to be satisfied with a silver.

Lothus Malino took the bronze in men's wrestling freestyle at 84 kilograms.

The day's good news was dampened by the failure of the Indonesia soccer team to reach the semifinals after bowing out 2-1 to host Thailand in Group A of the round-robin match. Indonesia defeated Cambodia 3-1 but was held to a 0-0 draw by Myanmar.

A consolation for Indonesia came from the water polo team, which sailed over Vietnam 19-11 in their opener.

On Saturday, Indonesia hopes to add more gold medals with Dwi Ratna competing in the women's discus throw and Yurita Arianny Arsyad in the women's hammer throw.

Indonesia's king and queen of bowling, Ryan Leonard Lalisang and Putty Insavilla Armein, will compete in the men's singles and women's singles. They hope to repeat their victories in the 2005 Philippines Games and 2006 Asian Games in Doha.

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