17 September 2001

Pencak silat athletes save RI pride

KUALA LUMPUR (JP): Pencak silat athletes salvaged some Indonesian pride at the SEA Games after winning four golds on Friday as the two- horse race between Malaysia and Thailand intensified.

Bambang Priwahyudi, Tuti Winarni, Dwi Shimanto and the pairing of Yusuf Hidayat/Asep Solihin gave some consolation to Indonesia, which looks destined to end up in the third position in the overall championship stakes.

With three days to go, Indonesia is stuck in a distant third position with only 51 golds. The defending champion is steadily moving up the ladder with 69 golds compared to Malaysia's 73.

Apart from pencak silat, a traditional form of martial art popular in the Southeast Asian nations, cycling, judo and shooting were the only other two sports that produced gold for Indonesia.

The cycling arena has become the gold mine for the Indonesian contingent. After a nine-gold collection from the track, the team reaped another two from the mountain bike event in Selangor on Friday.

Risa Suseanty won the women's 1.5km Down Hill in three minutes and 50.59 seconds. She beat Thailand's Kanittha Pratom to second place on 3:52.36 seconds, while Vietnam's Thi Thuy Trang finished third on 3:58.38 seconds.

Her male compatriot Sugianto Setiawan covered the 1.5 km route in 3 minutes and 10.20 seconds, to leave behind the Thai duo of Sitichai Gatekaewmanee on 3:11.65 and Nutawut Patihan on 3:21.51.

Dwi Simanto put up a brave fight against Manop Leewat Janakl of Thailand to win the middleweight final for the team's second gold at the meet.

The shooting range yielded another gold for Indonesia from the team double trap competition.

Indonesian archer Kuswantoro failed to make the SEA Games a double success after being narrowly pipped by Parawit Poliunoleed of Thailand 108-107 in the men's individual.

Contests in the track and field and inside the weightlifting hall ended up with only a silver. Sylvia Silimang added the tally with a silver in the women's individual double trap.

Ong Kok Hin in the men's hammer throw, Darimah in women's discuss and Supriati Sutono in 1,500 meters took to the field with high hopes only to find themselves second-bested at the end.

Likewise, Joko Hanggono could only win a silver for the weightlifting team. But unlike their athletics compatriots, the lifters should come back home with their heads held high.

Joko's silver was only an extra medal to their collection which already consists of six golds.

In the ring, Thai boxers showed their invincibility. After winning all five bouts in the first semifinal stage on Thursday, they won another six ties on Friday.

Indonesia has only two boxers left in the final, Bonyx Yusak Saweho and Albert Papilaya. Other finalists will be six from Malaysia, two from the Philippines and one from Laos. The final bouts are to be staged on Saturday.

The Indonesian badminton squad is assured of another two golds after it managed to make all-Indonesian finals in the men's and mixed doubles. However, the men's singles title will surely go elsewhere as Ronny Agustinus and Marlev Mainaky failed to advance.

Sourced from http://www.accessmylibrary.com/article-1G1-78347756/pencak-silat-athletes-save.html

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