Eko Yuli Irawan yesterday declared he was a “proud Indonesian” after winning the hosts’ first weightlifting gold of the Asian Games in front of Indonesian President Joko Widodo.
Irawan, 29, has won multiple major medals in a senior weightlifting career stretching back to his bronze at the Beijing 2008 Olympics, but had never before set foot on the top step of the podium.
“I’m a proud Indonesian and pleased for the country to win gold,” Irawan told reporters after receiving his medal from Widodo. “I feel like everything I have fought for I have now finally achieved.”
Irawan’s almost flawless performance of strength and control was capped by a 170kg lift in the clean and jerk that raised the roof at the Jakarta International Expo.
To screams from his adoring home fans, Irawan saluted the country’s president seated in front of him, broke into a huge smile and flashed a thumbs-up to the packed 2,000-capacity venue after setting a winning total of 311kg.
Vietnam’s Trinh Van Vinh needed a mammoth personal best of 179kg with the final lift of the competition to snatch gold, but he crumpled in the attempt.
Finally Irawan could savor the golden moment that had always eluded him, after Olympic bronzes at Beijing in 2008 and the 2012 London Olympics, silver at Rio two years ago and Asian Games bronzes in 2010 and 2014.
Widodo presented Irawan with his medal before he saluted again throughout his country’s anthem and flag-raising.
Trinh consoled himself with silver, while the bronze went to Uzbekistan’s Adkhamjon Ergashev.
The absence of China and Kazakhstan, who are on year-long International Weightlifting Federation bans for multiple historic doping offenses, meant North Korea dominated the first day of weightlifting on Monday.
They took both golds in the lightest men’s and women’s weight classes with pint-sized weightlifters Ri Song-gum in the women’s 48kg class and Om Yun-chol in the men’s 56kg.
However, Irawan ensured there would be no North Korea hat-trick as the weightlifting competition resumed yesterday.
He began in dominant fashion with 141kg in the snatch, good enough for a 5kg cushion over Ergashev and 8kg over Trinh.
Meanwhile, North Korea’s Sin Chol-bom, who had been expected to challenge Irawan, was struggling back on 130kg after the first stanza and eventually finished fourth.
Irawan was ecstatic to be halfway to his stated career aims of winning both Asian Games and Olympic gold.
“I’m very thankful to my coach and team, also the people where I am from, for supporting me,” Irawan said. “I want to win gold in Tokyo 2020.”
Taiwan national team manager Henry Vom on Sunday had a successful debut in charge of Taichung Futuro, winning 3-2 against league leaders Taipower with a goal deep in stoppage-time, which combined with the results from the other matches saw the gaps close at the top of the Taiwan Football Premier League table. Besides the big win for Futuro, Hang Yuan edged Taitung 1-0, Taiwan Steel dominated National Taiwan University of Sport 4-1 and the Red Lions held Ming Chuan University to a 1-1 draw. Vom took over Futuro after previous coach Toshiaki Imai returned home to Japan. Imai, who also managed the national
The NBA said was re-evaluating its training program in China following allegations of abuse of young players by local staff and harassment of foreign staffers at a facility in Xinjiang. The comments come after a report by ESPN that quoted unnamed American coaches as saying that Chinese coaches hit young players. One American coach who worked at a camp in Xinjiang complained of harassment by local police, the sports network said. “The allegations in the ESPN article are disturbing,” NBA deputy commissioner Mark Tatum said in an e-mail statement on Thursday. “We ended our involvement with the basketball academy in Xinjiang in June
Coming from the business world, New York Liberty owner Joe Tsai (蔡崇信) did not understand why his WNBA franchise did not have a chief executive officer similar to the team’s NBA counterpart the Brooklyn Nets, which Tsai also owns. For Tsai, it was about equality, so he did something about it. The 56-year-old Taipei-born billionaire businessman and philanthropist promoted Keia Clarke to the position last week — making her the first chief executive officer in the team’s history. The WNBA veteran became the third black woman to currently be in charge of a franchise in the league, joining Los Angeles Sparks president
LEAVING IT LATE: Rakuten added late runs last night to add to wins on Wednesday against the Brothers and the Lions on Friday that went down to the last batter The Rakuten Monkeys rallied to post three late runs for another close win, prevailing 5-3 over the Uni-President Lions yesterday as Taiwan’s second-half CPBL season got started with lower scoring output, but exciting finishes. It was Rakuten’s third win in a row. In two games this week, they seized victory in dramatic fashion with their last at-bat and have drawn level with the CTBC Brothers on top of the table after yesterday’s results, 0.5 games in front of the Fubon Guardians and 1.5 games ahead of the Lions. It was tied at 1-1 early, with Rakuten hosting the Lions at the Taoyuan Intenational