Hosts Indonesia were crowned overall champions at the 14th Pencak Silat World Championships in Jakarta, carting a total of 10 gold, five silver and six bronze medals on Sunday.
2007 overall winners Vietnam trailed in second with eight gold, eight silver and three bronze medals, while Malaysia came third with four gold, six silver and six bronze.
Indonesian Pencak Silat Association head Prabowo Subianto said he was proud that his team became overall champions as planned.
“We failed to get the title in previous championships,” he said. “But this time we made it. I really hope this victory could be a good start for Indonesia to regain its glory in martial arts.”
Prabowo is also the newly appointed president for the international pencak silat organization Persilat.
In the previous championships in 2007, Indonesia finished fourth.
Prabowo said the 2010 championships were the largest pencak silat event with a total of 30 participating countries.
In Friday’s final, Indonesia’s Pranoto, Dian Kristanto and Sapto Purnomo in the men’s tanding (fight), and Rosmayani in the women’s tanding all won gold.
Indonesia failed to meet its initial goal of six gold medals. Vietnam picked up eight gold medals from its 10 fighters.
Dian said he was proud to contribute to the Indonesian team’s overall win.
“This is my comeback performance after a two-year break from a ligament injury in my right leg.
And today I did well,” he said, referring to an injury he sustained at the inaugural Asian Beach Games in Bali in 2008.
“It was actually a challenge to fight [defending champions] Vietnam. Now I’m happy with this win,” he added.
Dian admitted the Vietnamese were hard to beat because they had little to lose at the event. “They went all out, which is why they got this far,” he added.
Dian thanked the home fans for their support during the bouts, saying it boosted the fighters’ morale.
“I think home supporters are now very appreciative. And it really affected us.”
He said he hoped Indonesia would grow in strength at the upcoming Southeast Asian Games in the country next year and in the 2012 world championships.
On Wednesday, the Indonesian team clinched all six gold medals in the men’s singles seni (demonstration), women’s singles demonstration, men’s doubles demonstration, women’s doubles demonstration, men’s groups demonstration and women’s groups demonstration.
The only representative from Europe, the Netherlands, lauded host Indonesia for organizing the tournament.
“Despite Indonesia leading [the tournament], I really think pencak silat in Vietnam has been well developed. The team has been performed really well in the championships,” Dutch team coach Raoul de Thomis said.
Written by NIKEN PRATHIVI
Sourced from http://www.thejakartapost.com/news/2010/12/18/ri-victorious-pencak-silat-c%E2%80%99ships.html