RI grabs 2 world wushu

LINDSWELL: (JP/Zul Trio Anggono)

Lindswell and Dessy Indri Astuti beat their Chinese competitors in two martial arts categories to grab two gold medals for Indonesia on the opening day of the World Junior Wushu Championship in Bali on Wednesday.

The two golds came in the taolu competition, with Lindswell triumphing in the women's 42-forms taijiquan event and Dessy in the women's nangun at the Westin hotel in Nusa Dua.

Indonesia added to its tally a bronze courtesy of Thalia Lovita in the women's jianshu event.

LINDSWELL: (JP/Zul Trio Anggono)

LINDSWELL: (JP/Zul Trio Anggono)

While Thalia was beaten by eventual gold medalist Mori Miki of Japan and silver medalist Phoon E. Yin of Malaysia, Lindswell dominated the 10 competitors in her field.

The 17-year-old athlete from Medan, North Sumatra, executed her five-minute routine almost to the letter to earn 9.45 points out of 10. Hi Shixing of Macau and Kim Ok-jin of South Korea had to make do with second and third places with 9.17 and 9.06 points, respectively.

"It surprised me a bit because I know it was a competition with strong competitors," Lindswell said.

Dessy, on the other hand, had come to the games with an air of confidence having clinched gold at the recent National Games.

She earned a score of 9.45, narrowly beating Tai Cheau Xuen of Malaysia who was awarded 9.42. Vu Thuy Lin of Vietnam took bronze.

Although Indonesia's medal tally did not take the home country to the top of the medals table, the home team was delighted with their athletes' performances.

"These two golds are important to raise the fighting spirit among the kids," said Supandi Kusuma, chairman of Wushu Indonesia.

The second edition of the biennial championship brings to the table 62 gold medals from two disciplines -- taolu (artistic) and sanshou (fighting).

The taolu participants are split into three categories -- A (from 16 to 18 years old), B (13 to 15) and C (7 to 13) -- and will contest a total of 50 gold medals in the men's and women's division, while the sanshou men's and women's fighters will duke it out for 12 golds.

A total of 700 athletes and officials from 44 countries are taking part in the tournament, which will run until Saturday.

Fifty-two of the 125 country/regional members of the International Wushu Federation (IWUF) initially registered for the competition but eight withdrew due to security fears, according to chairman of the organizing committee, IGK Manila.

"But the number still shows an increase from the inaugural event in Kuala Lumpur. They had 41 countries show up," he said.

The countries/regions that withdrew from the tournament are Argentina, Italy, Laos, Palestine, Turkmenistan, Venezuela and Zimbabwe.

The U.S. team won a single gold thanks to Vanessa Loza in the women's daoshu, and Russia, which arrived with 16 athletes, opened its bid by snatching two golds through Husnutdinov Ilias in the men's daoshu and Korolev Daniil in the men's jianshu.

Also booking two gold medals were Japan, Vietnam and Canada. They will all be trying to catch up leader China, whose three golds came from its male athletes An Jianchao in the changquan event, Yang Zili in the jianshu event and Lu Taidong in the taijiquan event.

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