Indonesia keeps pressure on Malaysia
By Novan Iman Santosa
JAKARTA (JP): Indonesia maintained pressure on host Malaysia on the fourth day of Southeast Asian (SEA) Games competition on Tuesday, winning 11 gold medals to marginally reduce the gap in the medal standings.
The national team emerged victorious in a variety of competitions, with the cycling team bagging four golds to cement its domination over regional peers. Suyitno and Teguh Eko capped Indonesia's winning run with a victory in the newly introduced Madison event, beating their compatriots Suwandra and Wawan Setyobudi.
The weightlifting, karate and archery events saw Indonesia win two golds in each, while fencing, tennis and badminton drew one apiece.
But Indonesia's supremacy in men's badminton was dealt a blow after it lost 2-3 to Malaysia in the sold-out final at Malawati Stadium in Shah Alam.
World champion Hendrawan made an ideal start with a 2-15, 15- 13, 15-10 win over Roslin Hashim. However, defeats in the other two singles matches denied Indonesia the coveted gold.
It was the first victory in the event for Malaysia in 10 years.
There were no surprises in the women's event, with Indonesia sinking Thailand 3-1.
Badminton gold kept Malaysia ahead in the medals hunt, taking their gold medal tally to 39. It has a great chance to secure more victories when track and field competitions kick off on Wednesday. Indonesia has amassed 26 gold medals.
On the soccer field, Bambang Pamungkas scored a hat-trick as Indonesia mauled Brunei 9-0 to set up a semifinal match with defending champions Thailand. Malaysia overcame Vietnam 2-0 in the other match, qualifying for Thursday's semifinals where they will take on Myanmar.
The Indonesian men's cycling team of Wawan Setyobudi, Rochmat, Teguh Eko and Suyitno, joined the list of record breakers on Tuesday after winning the team pursuit in 4 minutes 33.094 seconds.
In the pool, Thailand's Ravee Intraport-Udom successfully defended her gold medal in the 800m freestyle in a thrilling duel with Malaysia's Sia Wai Yen.
Overall, Thailand won three of the seven swimming golds on a day when three games records were broken.
Singapore's swimming star, Josceline Yeo, won her third individual gold medal of the meet, defending her 100 meter butterfly title in a time of 1:01.16.
Singapore also won the men's 4 x 100m freestyle relay in a record time of 3:27.48 seconds. Indonesia took the silver and Thailand the bronze.
With another two golds on Tuesday, the Indonesian karatekas have collected four in the competition so far, while the Malaysians have asserted their dominance.
Sonny Simangunsong beat Junel O. Perania of the Philippines in the men's under 70-kilogram final. Lee Yung Siang of Singapore and Muniandi Rajoo of Malaysia shared bronze.
The other gold was won in the men's team competition. An extra silver and bronze were also won.
In the women's open, Christina Dewi Gani was relegated to third place. Vietnam was again at its top form with Nguyen Thi Thu Trang overpowering Vivapee in the final.