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Jakarta Post

Sprinting legend M. Sarengat dies at 73

  • Irawaty Wardany

    The Jakarta Post

Jakarta   /   Wed, October 15, 2014   /  11:11 am

Indonesia'€™s first Asian Games gold medalist sprinter, Mohamad Sarengat, died of a stroke on Monday at 1:45 p.m. at the Pondok Indah Hospital at the age of 73. He was buried at the Jeruk Purut public cemetery on Tuesday.

His funeral was attended by Youth and Sports Minister Roy Suryo. The minister expressed his hope that young athletes could learn from the spirit shown by Sarengat, who was once the private physician of former vice president Sri Sultan Hamengkubuwono IX and former foreign minister Adam Malik.

'€œHe was someone we can be proud of and he became a role model not only for athletes, but also for all Indonesian people. His record, which stood [nationally] for more than 20 years, showed how much dedication he put into track-and-field,'€ Roy said Tuesday, as quoted by Antara newswire.

Sarengat set the first Asian Games record in the 100-meter course after clocking 10.4 seconds and afterwards set a 14.3-second record in the 110-meter hurdles in the 1962 Asian Games in Jakarta, where Indonesia finished second in the medal tally after the overall champion Japan.

Sarengat'€™s record in the 100-meter sprint was toppled by Purnomo in 1984, while M. Prayogo broke his record in the 110-meter hurdles in 1982.

Born on Oct. 26, 1940 in Kedunguter, Banyumas, Central Java, Sarengat decided to move to Surabaya, East Java, after he finished junior high school in Batang, where he had spent most of his childhood.

He joined the Surabaya'€™s Athletic Fans Association while studying at the Wijayakusuma II senior high school.

He failed the final senior high school test twice and decided to move to Jakarta to stay with his uncle Mursanyoto, who was a goal keeper for the national soccer team.

Sarengat, who was known for his speed in running, decided to participate in the selection process to join the Indonesian Athletic Association (PASI) training center, which resulted in him collecting two gold medals out of a total 11 in the Asian Games.

A soccer stadium built in Batang in 1974, which is now home to Persibat Batang, was named after him to honor his merit.

Sarengat was survived by his wife Nani Sarengat and three children, namely Meidy Sarengat, Sari Sarengat and Andung Sarengat.