Pencak silat, a martial art that originated in Indonesia, brought plenty of joy to its home nation at the 2009 Asian Martial Arts Games in Bangkok.
Indonesia entered six athletes into pencak silat at the first and last Martial Arts Games, and all six reached the finals. Of those finalists, four brought home gold medals.
All three of Indonesia’s men’s finalists won gold. I Komang Wahyu Purbasari earned the first — the country’s second at the Games after Kresna Bayu won judo gold — with a convincing 5-0 win over Singaporean Mohammad Nor Shafiq in E-class competition.
Lutfan Budi Santoso followed by winning the men’s B-class gold with a 5-0 defeat of the Philippines’ Jul-Omar Abdulhakim, and Pujo Janoko defeated Thailand’s Warlam Prasit 3-2 in a close match to earn the men’s C-class gold medal.
In the women’s event, Bali’s Ni Nyoman Suparniti was the only one to win gold, dominating the final and trouncing Malaysian Siti Rahmah Mohamed Nasir 5-0 in women’s D class.
The other two Indonesian women fell short against Vietnamese opposition in the finals. Puspa Endah Fitriani lost 4-1 to Le Thi Hong Ngoan in the women’s E-class final, and Pengki Simbar lost 4-1 to Le Thi Pingha in women’s A class.
Wushu also brought in a medal, further boosting Indonesia’s total. Rahmat Junaidi Sukamto won bronze after falling to Zhang Dajun of China in the men’s sanshou 60-kilogram semifinals.
Friday’s seven-medal haul saw Indonesia shoot up the medals table. Its 13 total medals left it tied for ninth place with China and Laos, with Indonesia matching China’s five gold medals and easily outpacing Laos, which saw its total boosted by eight bronze medals.
Indonesia’s hopes of a medal from karate are fading away after four competitors bowed out in the preliminary rounds on Friday.
Hendro Salim, the sport’s last medal hope, will compete in the men’s -84 kg and face karateka Aldowsari Hamad of Kuwait in today’s preliminary round.
Thailand tops the standings with 46 overall medals and 15 golds, nine of which it won in its favored martial art, muay thai. Vietnam is second with 34 medals, half of which are bronze, and Kazakhstan is third with 28 medals.
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