Thursday, January 10, 2008

Silver or bronze? Games medal dispute

Thursday, December 06, 2007

Matheos Viktor Messakh, The Jakarta Post, Nakhon Ratchasima

Indonesian gymnasts' medal result is in question following a dispute over their silver win at the SEA Games here on Wednesday.

Lody Lontoh and Tyana Dewi Koesumawati won the silver medal -- a slip away from the gold targeted -- in the mixed doubles aerobic gymnastics event, following a crown shared by Vu Bang Dong and Tran Thi Thu Ha of Vietnam and Nattawut Pimpa and Roypim Ngampeerapong of Thailand who both scored 20.20 points.

Shortly after the medal ceremony, organizers approached the national squad and asked them to return their silver medals, but the Indonesian camp refused.

"If two teams share first place to win gold, then the next team should receive the silver medal," coach Fachmy Fahrezy said after the ceremony.

"We won't humiliate ourselves by returning the silver medal as it was presented through a formal and honored ceremony. If they say we broke the rules, we can say the whole event broke the rules since it was only competed in by three countries," he said.

The national camp sent a letter of protest, requesting clarification of the decision, to the Organizing Committee, after learning of a report to the committee stating Indonesia earned only the bronze medal.

Lody and Tyana earned 8.50 points in artistry, 8.30 in execution and 2.650 in difficulty. The Vietnamese couple scored 8.40 in artistry, 8.30 in execution and 3.500 in difficulty while the Thai's earned 8.50 in artistry, 8.40 in execution, and 3.300 in difficulty.

"Lody and Tyana performed perfectly and have done the best they could. Unfortunately they earned a lower score in the level of difficulty than the Vietnamese and Thai gymnasts," Fachmy said.

The Indonesian trio: Lody Lontoh, Ardi Dedek Saputra and Faizal Amirullah also won bronze in the aerobic trios.

Thailand's trio Phairach Thotkhamchai, Chanchaluk Yaimmitr and Kittipong Tawinun won the gold medal with a final score of 20.60, Vietnameses trios Vu Ba Dong, Xuan Giang Nguyen and Thien Phuong Nguyen scoring 20.15 and Indonesia 19.80.

In the women's individual category, Indonesia's Tyana Dewi Koesumawati came in fourth, while in the men's individual, compatriot Claudio Marsello finished fifth.

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