Fri, 03 Dec 1999

RI karatekas grab no golds but net three silvers, three bronzes

JAKARTA (JP): Novilus Tedius Yoku and Sonny Simangasing contributed on Thursday more medals for Indonesia on the second day of the Asian Union Karate Organization (AUKO) championships in Singapore.

Irianese-born Novilus, the 1999 Southeast Asian (SEA) Games gold medalist in the men's open class, earned a silver after losing to Ka Firaee 2-4 of Iran in the below 75-kilogram class. Japanese karateka Nakahiro Niki and Hsu Hsiang Ming of Chinese Taipei shared the bronze medal.

Sonny, the SEA Games bronze medalist in the men's below 70-kg class, took the bronze in the below 60-kg division. Anuzadeh Mehdi of Iran grabbed the gold, trailed by Japan's Yasu Hariu who won the silver.

Overall, Indonesia earned three silvers and three bronzes. The tally is disappointing compared to the country's achievement two years ago when it earned two golds at the same event.

On the opening day on Wednesday, the men's kumite team of Novilus, Sonny, Umar Syarif, Hasan Basri and Arif Taufan Syamsuddin and the women's kata team of Endang Trimurti Wulandari, Merani Mega and Fitria Mega Sjaukat contributed two silver medals. Both teams won gold in August at the SEA Games in Brunei Darussalam.

Indonesia also earned on the first day of the event silver from the men's kata team comprising Aswan Ali, Elias Tande and Wahyu Widayat, and a bronze from Fitria in the women's individual kata.

The secretary-general of the Indonesian Karate-Do Federation (Forki), Hendardji Supandji, told The Jakarta Post on Thursday that the karatekas had competed to the best of their ability at the championships.

"They have worked hard. We can't estimate results in karate. We have not set any target at the championships. However, the three karatekas managed to enter the finals and their performances were not disappointing," he said.

"Besides, Iran is the 1998 world champion," he added.

The 27-year-old police officer Novilus said that he was proud he could outclass the Japanese karateka.

"I am very proud to outshine Japanese karateka. It's always been my personal ambition to beat Japan in each competition, although Iranians are still the ones to beat on my way to gold," he was quoted by Antara as saying.

Umar, Hasan and Taufan failed to shine in the men's individual kumite.

"I suffered an injury, but my coach ordered me to perform. Look at the result, I only accommodated my rival's attack during the match as if I was only a ball to kick around," said Umar, who earned a bronze in the over 80-kg class at the SEA Games.

Sandra Aryani, who was expected to add to Indonesia's medal tally in the women's individual kumite, also failed on Thursday in her bid. (ivy)