Lifters win medals, PABBSI urges more attention
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While the shuttlers crumbled, the weight lifters came to save Indonesia’s face at the London Olympics.
Triyatno, 24, and Irawan Eko Yuli, 23, gained their reward from the hard world during training and battling effort in the competition.
They were among six weight lifters in the contingent.
Triyatno said he was “fighting to the death” while holding up a 188-kilogram lift in the clean and jerk, with his legs nearly collapsing, while other team members inside the ExCeL London stage were waiting in suspense.
“I kept telling myself ‘This is my last chance. It doesn’t matter even if I have to die here’,” he said as quoted by Antara news agency after his showing.
The 2008 Beijing Olympic bronze medalist who lifted a total of 333kg, including 145kg in the snatch, was 11kg behind Chinese gold medalist Lin Qinfeng (157kg in the snatch and 187kg in the clean and jerk) and only 1kg ahead of bronze medalist Razvan Constantin Martin of Rumania (152kg in the snatch and 180kg in the clean and jerk).
“My best lift before I departed for South Korea [for a training camp ahead of the London Games] was 187kg,” said the Lampung-born athlete recently.
2008 Beijing bronze medalist Eko, who was still recovering from a shinbone injury he sustained from the 2011 SEA Games, tried to keep his bar from falling.
He nearly did win a silver because his total lift of 317kg (145kg in the snatch, 172 in the clean and jerk) was as heavy as that of the silver medalist, Oscar Albeiro Figueroa Mosquera of Colombia, but Eko’s bodyweight beat him.
The only Indonesian female weight lifter competing at the London Games, 24-year-old Citra Febrianti, was pretty close to bronze and finished fourth.
Triyatno and Eko’s efforts earned them cash rewards from the state-owned railway operator PT KAI handing the former Rp 500 million (US$52,500), and the latter Rp 250 million. Their coach Lukman received Rp 250 million.
The Indonesian Weight Lifting, Power Lifting and Body Building Association (PABBSI) also got an injection of Rp 500 million financial support for development.
The Youth and Sports Ministry rewarded them with Rp 400 million for Triyatno, Rp 200 million for Eko and Rp 75 million for Lukman.
Lukman hailed the achievement outstanding, especially because the government still showed lack of support to the sport.
PABBSI deputy chairman Djoko Pramono said the athletes could have won more than silver or bronze.
“Their victory was not a coincidence because our athletes have improved through well planned practices. We will be pushing harder until we grab a gold,” he said, hoping that the government would pay more attention to the sport.
The weight lifting squad has yet to contribute a gold but it has become regular medal contributor to the Indonesian contingent beginning in Sydney 2000, where all three weight lifters in the team brought home medals (one silver and two bronze).
Djoko said the government should start supporting athletes four years in advance if it wanted weight lifting to contribute gold at the 2016 Rio de Janeiro Olympics.
“[The government sent weight lifters] to Beijing for trials and practices for a month and to South Korea for two weeks of practice — all for the preparations of Olympics. Were those weeks enough? Of course not,” he said.
Minister Andi Mallarangeng said the country’s sports community would reshape its strategy by focusing on developing five to 10 sports for medal chases in Rio de Janeiro.
— JP/Mustaqim Adamrah