JAKARTA (JP): Host Indonesia harvested six golds -- two from fighting events and four from martial arts events -- in the final round of the 2000 Pencak Silat World Championships at Pencak Silat Center in Taman Mini Indonesia Indah on Friday.
Neighboring countries Malaysia grabbed two golds while Vietnam brought home one.
Indonesia's first gold was won by Abdul Karim in the men's A class (45-50kgs) by defeating Abang Erdie Fauzerul Abang Fauzan of Malaysia 4- 1.
"I was motivated because Malaysia has won two golds already. I promised myself that Malaysia wouldn't get the third one," Abdul told reporters after the match. "Before my final, I was confident of winning the gold."
Both pesilat (fighters) showed equal skills but Abdul managed to find Erdie's weaknesses and capitalize on them.
"I attacked Erdie with T-kicks, usually I use straight-forward kicks, because his footing was weak and open," said Abdul.
Abdul, however, criticized the referee for not paying attention to the fact that Erdie committed several foot-sweeping violations in the third round.
Khairul Almin bin Pengiran Haji Mohammad of Brunei Darussalam and Vigot Anot of the Philippines shared the bronze medals.
While Indonesian Septi Hariandja captured the second gold in the women's E class (65-70kgs) by defeating Len Nguyet Minh of Vietnam 3-2 in a close fight.
"I fought without any worry. But I was nervous as I was the last hope to get the gold in the women's division," she said.
"I had led some points in the first round but my rival managed to thwart my tactics and counter my attacks. In the third round, we fought really close."
Magdalena Sofia of Spain and Suryati Azlinda binte Jack of Malaysia shared the bronze medals.
Indonesia women's coach, Dahliana, said she had expected two golds from both Septi and Dwi in the women's side.
"Our women fighters are facing tough competition from other countries, very different from the past. Besides, we are also short of local competitions. We used to have the Kartini Cup tournament for women fighters but it was discontinued."
"Vietnam is our main threat. They are very serious because pencak silat is a priority sport there. They offered two options to their athletes, whether to study or have a career in silat."
Unfortunately, two other Indonesians had to succumb to their opponents.
In the men's J class (90-95kgs), Samuel Mallo was defeated by Malaysian Zakri bin Ibrahim 3-2. While Malaysian Azlinda binte Ahmad overcame Dwi Damayanti 4-1 in the women's F class (70-75kgs).
Vietnam won its first gold medal through Dang Thi Thuy in the women's D class (60-65kgs) after defeating Malaysian Mastura binte Sapuan 5-0.
In the martial arts, men's singles Kusnajaya, women's doubles Widya Astuti and Heni Mahendrawati, women's team of Ami Lutiasari, Irma Nilawati and Suhartini and men's team of Anugrah Joko Laksono, Achmad Rizanu Wahyudi and Yunanto Chandra Wijaya contributed one gold medal each.
Fighters will rest on Saturday as delegates of the International Pencak Silat Federation (Persilat) are holding a conference.
One item on the agenda is to elect a new president, currently held by Eddie Nalapraya of Indonesia. Another item is to ask members' opinions on staging pencak silat as an exhibition event in the Pusan 2002 Asian Games.
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