Siman dedicates his gold to Riau people
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London Olympian I Gede Siman Sudartawa won the 200-meter backstroke final at the National Games (PON) in Riau and then dedicated his gold medal to the people of Riau.
“During the swimming competition, the support from the Riau people was amazing. This first gold is dedicated to them,” said the Bali-born swimmer.
Despite the victory, he expressed disappointment at being unable to better his own time.
The women’s event went to Yessy V. Yosaputra of West Java. Joining the group of gold medal winners on Sunday at the Rumbai Sport Center were M Akbar Nasution of South Sumatra, who won the men’s 400-meter individual medley, and Ressa Kania Dewi of West Java, who was victorious in the women’s 200-meter individual medley.
While some of the victorious swimmers managed to shatter some Games records, they failed to improve upon national records.
Siman clocked in 2 minutes 05.01 seconds, faster than the old PON record of 2:08.88 by Felix C. Sutanto in 1996, but slower than his own national record of 2:02.04, chalked up in the 2011 SEA Games in Palembang, South Sumatra.
Yessy’s time of 2:21.34 turned out to be an improved PON record, but it was still about six seconds slower than her best, which she recorded in Palembang.
Akbar also slightly surpassed his own 2004 PON record with a time of 4:31.26 en route to victory on Sunday. He set a time of 4:31.76 during the 2004 PON.
Ressa, who recorded a time of 2:21.52 in her victory, also came up short of vaulting the national record of 2:21.00 set by Fibriani R. Marita in Laos in 2009.
Fibriani, who represented East Java, could only finish third this time, while Yessy looked exhausted, languishing in fourth place.
Siman blamed his below par performance on the wrong tactics in the opening phase of race.
“I was too fast in the first 50 [meters],” he said.
“It affected [me] in the third and last 50 [meters]. I’d already lost my energy by then.”
Siman, who will be taking part in six individual and team races during the games, said he had not put his best efforts into his first race on Sunday.
“I took part in the Olympics [last month]. Then I went to the Singapore Open. And I didn’t practice for four days after coming back from Singapore because I was ill,” he said, adding he won two golds in the men’s 50-meter and 100-meter backstroke events in Singapore.
Siman was the flag-bearer of the Indonesian contingent in London, where the team brought home only a silver and bronze, with both medals being won in weightlifting.