Monday, December 16, 2013

RI fails to defend marathon gold

Source: The Jakarts Post

Just bronze: Indonesia’s 4x100-meter men’s relay team (from left) Iswadi, Rozikin, Fadlin and Yaspi Bobby pose for photographers after being presented the bronze at Wunna Theikdi Stadium on Monday. JP/P.J. Leo

 Mok Ying Ren gave Singapore the marathon gold in the SEA Games for the first time since 1983, ending Indonesia’s winning streak in Naypyitaw, Myanmar, on Monday.

Ying Ren topped the event after clocking 2:28:36, followed by Myanmar’s Thaung Aye at 2:29:50 and the Philippines’ Eric Panique at 2:30:30.

Indonesian hopeful and reigning champion Yahuza was only able to finish in seventh place in 2:36:32. He was still far behind compatriot Nikolas Albinus Sila, who clocked 2:33:32 to finish in fifth place.

Ying Ren’s heroic run will be remembered as the first Singaporean marathon gold after K. Jayamani last did for the island state at home in 1983.

“I’m really happy. I did not expect to win. It’s great that this is Singapore’s first men’s marathon gold,” he said with a beaming smile on his face.

He said that his strategy was starting off slowly in order to adjust his pace before picking up the pace in a timely fashion.

In the women’s marathon, Indonesia’s Meri Meriana Paijo could not finish the race because she was disqualified after falling in the fourth lap. Thi Binh Pham of Vietnam took the gold after covering the distance in 2:45:34, followed by Myanmarese Myint Myint and Papa in 2:46:07 and 2:49:01 respectively.

It was a double reversal for Indonesia which took both gold medals at home in 2011 through Yahuza and Triyaningsih.

Triyaningsih was not defending her title given the competition schedule that meant she would have only one day’s break before returning to the track for the 5,000-meter and 10,000-meter runs.

According to Yahuza he intentionally let Nikolas pass him when finding that all other runners were after him.

“It’s part of the strategy. Unfortunately Nikolas complained later that he felt something wrong with his stomach, so he could not carry on at maximum pace,” said Yahuza.

Team Manager Paulus Lay said that his runners had started off smoothly with Nikolas taking the lead in the first few laps.

“The Singapore runner overtook him in kilometer 35-36, which I had already expected considering he holds the best time record,” he said.

However he admitted that Ying Ren was a new star in the marathon field as not many people had ever heard of his name before.

“We don’t know where he raced before. All that we know is that he trained in Japan,” Paulus said.

Indonesia also failed to defend gold in the men’s 4x100-meter relay.

Yaski Boby, Iswandi, Fadlin and Rozikin could only chalk up a time of 40.15 seconds to languish in third place behind Thailand (39.75 seconds) and Singapore (39.79 seconds).

Thailand also dominated the women’s relay with the Indonesian team, which comprises Lusiana Satriani, Tri Setyo Utami, Nia Fatul Aini and Ni Nyoman, finishing third behind Vietnam.

“We tried hard but the opponents were better than us,” Paulus Lay said.

“Thailand has two teams A and B. Against potentially tough opponents, they will deploy the A team. That’s their strategy,” he said


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