Tue, 18 Sep 2001

JP/6/LAST RI bags two silvers in final battle

KUALA LUMPUR (JP): Indonesia had to be content with two silvers and a bronze on the last day of the 2001 Southeast Asian (SEA) Games, which saw six golds on offer in six events on Monday.

The bronze was awarded to Indonesian riders who finished third in the equestrian three-day event at the Selangor Turf Club Equestrian Center with 352.80 points in total penalties. Thailand dominated the field for the golds in both individual and team events at the expense of the host riders.

The Thai team finished first with the least penalties of 260.00, upstaging the host riders who accrued 306.80 points in penalties for the silver.

In the individual event, Thai riders produced a one-two finish, relegating Malaysia to third place. Pongsiree Bunluewong grabbed the gold medal with 64.00 points in total penalties followed by compatriot Kietnarong Krongklan with 73.20 in total penalties. Malaysia's Husref Malik was awarded the bronze medal with 74.60 points in penalty.

Indonesian riders Tenny Palandeng and Anto Budiarto finished fourth and fifth respectively.

Three other Indonesian riders fared even worse. Lukas Ibrahim, Fesol Al-Bahri and Gutomo were placed ninth, 10th and 11th respectively out of 12 participants.

The silver medals were secured by the Indonesian synchronized divers and swimmers at the National Aquatic Center in the National Sports Center, Bukit Jalil, Kuala Lumpur.

Divers Shenny Ratna Amelia and Herlyani Dias collected a total of 237.06 points behind hosts Leong Mun Yee and Rostimah Muhamad with 294.99 points in the women's 10-meter platform. Sukrutai Tommaoros and Neeranuch Chantrakulcholt of Thailand trailer the Indonesian divers by the thin margin of 230.73 points.

Unfortunately, Indonesian synchronized divers Husaini Noor Ahmad and Sukran Jamjami failed to take any medals in the men's 3-meter springboard event finishing in the rear of the field of five pairs with only 252.03 points.

Malaysian divers Rosharissham Roslan and Yeoh Ken Nee scored 311.07 points for the gold medal, ahead of Suchart Pichi and Meerit Insawang of Thailand with 276.69 points and Filipinos Zardo Domenios and Jaime Asok with 267.78 points.

Stay in synch

Malaysia also ruled the synchronized swimming duet event through Suzana Ghazali Bujang and Sara Kamil Yusof, who collected 76.227 points. It was enough to deny Indonesian Tyas Titisari and Merlin Anggreny of their gold medal hopes. The Indonesians obtained 72.061 points.

Vietnam's Nguyen Nhu Thuy Duong and Le Thi Huyen Trang were a distant third with 66.743.

"It's a great day for Malaysia. We are happy for this honor," said Sara Kamil after their win.

It was easy to see why the Malaysians received top points. They managed to do what none of the other teams could - stay in synch for the whole routine.

Suzanna said they chose music from the Cirque du Soleil and their routine represented clowns and all the other elements of the famed Canadian troupe. The pair spent nine months preparing their gold-winning routine.

"The hardest part is keeping the energy up until the end of the routine because it's jam packed," said Suzanna as quoted by the Associated Press.

She said she was ecstatic about winning the gold and now has her sights set on next year's Commonwealth Games. The biggest competition there will come from the Canadians, Australians and the British, she said.

With flashbacks to Esther Williams films, synchronized swimmers wear glimmering, sequined swim suits and swim to music. They are scored on their technical ability and their artistic interpretation of the water dance. (nvn)