Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Santia brings husband birthday gift, eyes London Olympics

Matheos Viktor Messakh, The Jakarta Post, Guangzhou, China | Wed, 11/24/2010 11:15 AM

Despite winning another silver for Indonesia at the Women’s Individual Road Race at Guangzhou Triathlon Venue on Tuesday, Indonesian cyclist Santia Tri Kusuma says her next target is to bring back a medal from the 2012 London Olympics.

“I hope I go to London for the 2012 Olympics, and I’ll try my best to win a medal,” she said after the 100-kilometer race at Pan Yu District of Guangzhou.

Santia crossed the finish line in two hours 47 minutes 46.52 seconds behind Hsiao Mei Yu of Taiwan who snatched the gold medal with 2:47:46.12, while China’s Zhao Na took bronze with 2:47:46.63.

“This is a birthday gift for my husband [Indonesian cyclist Rochmat Nugraha], which will fall tomorrow,” said the 29-year-old.

“I am very happy because this event is not my favorite. I was expected to win a medal in track but I failed. So it is kind of a revenge for me. Moreover, it was quite hard for me to pull out of the pack and only in the last 300 meters was I able to sprint,” she said.

The 2007 Manila SEA Games double gold medalist said that the race was not so difficult as the course was fairly flat and not very hilly, but there was a small corner approaching the finish, which may have cause a bit of trouble for her.

“My compatriot Tonton [Susanto] fell there yesterday but luckily I didn’t,” she explained.

Starting with race number 31, Santia was 23rd of 28 cyclists in the first 20 kilometers of the five-lap race with 34 minutes 59.64, dropping behind to 26th in the second 20 kilometers with one hour seven minutes 59.96 seconds, but advanced to 22 in the third lap with 1:38:21.89 and pressed forward to 21st in the fourth lap with 2:12:31.49.

Santia started the final sprint in the very front, ahead of 2006 Doha Asian Games silver medalist Zhao Na, but in the final 100 meters, Hsiao Mei Yu accelerated hard down the right side of the road, catching Zhao Na and Santia by surprise.

Hsiao passed Zhao, who was looking at the rider to the left, and maintained her sprint to cross the line four bike-lengths ahead of Santia.

Pre-race favorite Natalya Stefanskaya of Kazakhstan placed fourth, while You Jina of Korea was one place behind her in fifth, while Santia’s compatriot Yanthi Fuchianty was ninth with 2:47:48.35.

Hsiao adds this gold to the bronze medal she won in the women’s 500-meter Time Trial last Saturday.

Hsiao’s gold is the first medal for Taiwan in Road Cycling in the history of the Asian Games.

Hsiao, a member of Hong Kong’s Giant Pro Cycling club, is also the fifth female from Taiwan to win a medal of each color at the Asian Games, and also the fifth person to win a medal in two different sports disciplines at the 2010 Asian Games. All five previous athletes have won their medals in Road Track Cycling.

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