Mon, 20 Oct 1997

Thai swimmers win count, but Indonesian make waves

By Slyvia Gratia Miranda

JAKARTA (JP): Thailand came first in the medal standings, but Indonesia's total of 11 golds was lengths ahead of its disappointing performance at the previous Games.

In the five-day competition, Thailand took 17 of the 39 golds. The country grabbed 13 golds from swimming and four in diving clean sweep.

Indonesia, next in the standings with 10 golds from swimming and one from synchronized swimming, nearly tripled its gold medal haul from the Games in Chiang Mai.

Thirteen Games records fell during the past week.

Thai sensation Ravee Intporn-Udom did the best of all, with five golds and three Games records in women's events. Ravee, 17, was followed by countryman Torlarp Sethsothorn, with four golds.

Ravee set records in the 400 meters individual medley (4:53.20), 400 meters freestyle (4:20.95) and 800 meters freestyle (8:56.88).

The most memorable moment belonged to hometown boy Richard Sam Bera.

In a fitting swan song to his distinguished Games career, Richard won the 50 meters freestyle in 23.40.

Two days later Richard joined teammates Felix C. Sutanto, Albert C. Sutanto and Wisnu Wardhana in setting a new mark of 3:08.66 in the 4x100 men's freestyle relay.

Richard's third gold was bagged in the 100 meters freestyle, but he failed to beat compatriot Wisnu Wardhana's mark of 51.31.

Relatively unknown Rita Mariani of Indonesia did surprisingly well by grabbing gold in the women's 100 meters breastroke 1:11.96. She also set a new mark of 2:33.34 in the 200 meters breastroke, slicing 1.53 seconds from Singaporean Joscelin Yeo's record of 2:34.87.

Rita also snatched gold in the 4x100 meters women's medley relay with teammates Sylvi Triana, Catherine Surya and Meitri W. Pangestika in a new record of 4:19.23.

"I wanted to show that Indonesia is still a force in the pool, and also that Joscelin was not unbeatable," Rita said.

Another Indonesian surprise was in store when Felix C. Sutanto stole gold in the men's 200 meters individual medley.

Malaysia's Lim Keng Liat in 200 meters freestyle, Ang Anthony in 100 meters butterfly, and 4x100 meters medley relay squad won golds.

In water polo, Singapore maintained its 31-year golden streak. The host team won the silver, its first medal in the event in 10 years. The bronze went to the Philippines.

In synchronized swimming, Malaysia's Jacqueline Chan grabbed the gold in the solo competition with 81.00. Indonesia's Tyas Titisari took silver and compatriot Lenny Puspitasari the bronze.

Indonesia won gold in the duet event through Tyas and Lenny. The silver went to Malaysia, while Thailand got the bronze.