The Buecheon Gymnasium witnessed the Indonesian delegation stumble into another pitfall on its chase for gold when the women’s sepaktakraw (kick volleyball) team failed to advance to the finals on Saturday.
Indonesia lost to regional rival Myanmar 1-2 in a tight encounter whose results had to be decided in the third three-game match.
It was Indonesia’s second sepaktakraw bronze, after their male counterparts also stumbled in their semifinal on Friday.
Team manager Lukman Husain and chef de mission Ade Lukman, who had been busy shuttling from venue to venue in attempts to encourage the athletes to increase their chance for gold, offered words of consolation to the players.
“You have fought hard today. Don’t let yourselves get down,” Lukman said.
“There’s still one task ahead demanding your attention. You’d better prepare for the next match,” Ade said.
The players and teammates could not hide their disappointment as a somber mood overwhelmed the team. They rued the missed chance of continuing their gold chase.
Indonesia got off to a winning start with the first Regu taking the first match 21 to 19 and 21 to 18. The second match saw the second Regu in the running after winning the first game 21 to 13. But Myanmar fought back to win the last two games 21 to 15 and 21 to 12 to take the encounter to the third match.
Indonesia’s Hasmawi Umar, Jumasiah and Kusnelia, lost the first game in the third Regu 11 to 21, regrouped to take the second game 21 to 19.
In the third game, the Indonesian players seemed to lose stamina and concentration, as they trailed throughout the game with a gaping score. They once reduced the score to one point when they rolled to five consecutive points to take the score to 6-7. However, they failed to maintain the momentum as the Myanmarese retrieved their composure to seal the game 21 to 14.
“I have given my best. That’s all I can do. We were not lucky.” Jumasiyah said. “They upped their assaults to force us into the defense,” she said, referring to how the Indonesian team failed to capitalize on its attack momentum.
Coach Sandrina Like Kaliey blamed the loss on psychological stress.
“They could not release all their skills,” she said.
Sepaktakraw offers a total of six gold medals. Myanmar won the first two in the men’s and women’s doubles. Two are at stake in the team event and the other two in the Regu event. Teams from the Southeast Asia dominated the team competition with Vietnam and Thailand playing in the other semifinal.
Coach Lukman reminded his players about the next match.
“We haven’t decided yet which of you will play in the Regu event. You must all be ready for the match,” he said.
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