Headlines

China dominates Asian junior
sports meet as RI finishes
17th

FANCY PASSING: Tasspor Wannakit of Thailand (foreground, right) passes the baton to teammate Atchima Engchoan in the women’s 4x100 relay at the 13th Asian Junior Athletics Championship in Jakarta on Sunday. The Thai team took the gold medal in the event. (JP/P. J. Leo)
FANCY PASSING: Tasspor Wannakit of Thailand (foreground, right) passes the baton to teammate Atchima Engchoan in the women’s 4x100 relay at the 13th Asian Junior Athletics Championship in Jakarta on Sunday. The Thai team took the gold medal in the event. (JP/P. J. Leo)

China emerged the overall champion while Indonesia's medal drought continued to the closing day of the Asian Junior Athletics Championship in Jakarta on Sunday.

China finished the four-day event with 14 gold medals, leaving Japan in a distant second place with seven and Indonesia's regional rival Thailand in third place with four.

On Sunday the champion added to its golds by taking the women's 800 meter, long jump, 5,000 meter, 4x400 meter and the men's relay.

In the long jump, Indonesian jumper Maria Natalia Londa came up short on her goal of medaling. The only consolation was that with her jump of 6.06 meters, she managed to improve on her regional record of 6 meters she made during last year's Southeast Asia Junior Athletics Championships in Phuket, Thailand.

Maria, who narrowly missed out on the bronze, still beamed at her showing.

"Even though I could only finish fourth I'm happy I jumped 6.06 meters," she said.

Taking the silver and gold in the event was China, with Sha Bao jumping 6.32 meters and Yan Mei Li right behind at 6.28 meters. Chan-Mi Bae of South Korea took third at 6.10 meters.

Indonesian athletes made the finals in 11 events, but all failed to stand atop the podium.

Paulus Lay, deputy chairman at the Indonesian Athletics Association (PASI) in charge of athlete development, said he was not disappointed with the results.

"I am quite proud of the athletes because most of them secured places in the final rounds. Some of them even broke national juniors records. It's a satisfying result," he said.

The 4x400 meter men's relay team comprising Ahmad Fadly, Patoniah, A. Tuhumea Leona and Nurochman boosted the national record to three minutes and 15.99 seconds from three minutes and 18.27 seconds.

On Saturday, 17-year-old sprinter Franklin Buruni clocked 21.44 seconds in the men's 200 meter to shatter the 20-year-old mark by Mardi Lestari, who recorded 21.47 seconds in 1986.

However, Franklin misfired in the final, languishing in eighth in the final round with a time of 22.21 seconds.

First place went to Omar Salfa of the United Arab Emirates, who recorded 21.04 seconds. Xiang Huang took second at 21.26 and Adel J.A. Asseri of Saudi Arabia was third with 21.38.

Indonesia could only collect one silver and three bronzes to finish 17th among 23 Asian countries.

PASI general secretary Tigor M. Tanjung said the results were an improvement on previous events.

"In 2006, none of our athletes won any medals while in 2004 we brought home only a bronze through Triyaningsih," he said. (ewd)

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