Mon, 18 Sep 2000

Lisa silences critics with bronze

JAKARTA (JP): Indonesian weightlifter Lisa Rumbewas silenced critics and doubts on her participation in the Olympics following her controversial selection last month, with a bronze medal.

Lisa, competing in the 48 kilograms division, managed to lift a total of 185.0kg, with clean and jerk lift of 105.0kg and snatch of 80.0kg.

"I'm very proud of my achievement. I was not burdened during the competition. I felt nothing. I just want to win a medal. I want to thank God, Pak Dharma, who is my coach, Pak Lukman, my parents and the others who have given me their support. The National Sports Council (KONI) and Pak Dharma have promised me a bonus," Lisa said.

Lisa attempted to lift 107.0kg in clean and jerk but her knees moved and she failed.

"I was not prepared to lift 107.0kg. Both the American lifter and I had equal total lifts but I was heavier so she earned the silver medal," she told reporters in a teleconference from Sydney.

Lisa weighed in at 47.90kg while American Tara Nott weighed in at 47.70kg.

Lisa's mother Ida Rumbewas, who accompanied her to Sydney, could not hold back tears of joy after her daughter was named the bronze medalist.

The Indonesian contingent assistant for general affairs, Indra Kartasasmita, said the squad would throw a small party to celebrate Lisa's success in winning the first medal for Indonesia.

"We don't know when and how we will throw the party. We'll ask Lisa's mother."

Lisa sparked controversy when her name was included in the Olympics squad list only two days before the final selection began in August. As a result, Supeni, competing in the 53kg division, had to be excluded from the squad.

Reports said that Lisa made the team as she was training at the now closed Indonesian Weightlifting, Powerlifting and Bodybuilding Association's (PABBSI) South Kalimantan chapter, in which the new PABBSI chairman was Dharma Surya.

Lisa, who was born in Jayapura, Irian Jaya on Sept. 10, 1980, followed her mother's footsteps as a weightlifter. Her mother, Ida Rumbewas, was the silver medalist in the 52-kg division in the 1988 PON in Jakarta.

While father Levinus Rumbewas was a very popular bodybuilder in the country, especially after winning the Mr. Asia title in 1991.

The youngest of four siblings, she followed her father's move to South Kalimantan as Levinus began coaching bodybuilding in the South Kalimantan chapter's training center.

Lisa started to practice weightlifting when she was in the fourth grade at elementary school. She practiced on the red earth using very simple equipment like iron bars. (ivy/yan)