Timor Leste wins first gold medal

Jakarta (ANTARA News) - Timor Leste won its first gold medal in the 26th Southeast Asian Games (SEA Games) on Sunday.

"This is the first gold medal collected from the kempo event," Timor Leste Kempo team chief coach Fransisco Amaral Dasilva said.

He said Julianto Perreira won the gold medal after winning the artistic kyu-kenshi category pairing with Dorceyana Borges with a 260.5 score.

Domingos Savio pairing with Fidelia da Costa Perreira meanwhile only grabbed a silver medal from the yudhansha (black belt) category with a 261.5 score.

"The game staged for the first time in the SEA Games this year was hard for us but it has been our determination to win a medal," Francisco Amaral flanked by coach Endri Soesilisa said.

He said winning a gold medal from the shorinji kempo had been his dream.

"We are very glad we could this time bring a gold medal to Timor Leste. It is like a dream to see our athletes winning a gold medal. But this is not a dream, it is real," he said.

He said he hoped the victory would become an encouragement for Timor Leste athletes especially kempo athletes now still numbering only around 300.

"We hope the gold medal from kempo would encourage other Timor Leste athletes as with strong spirit and sportsmanship the opportunity to win a match is open. We have proven it through kempo," he said.

He said initially the team indeed set no high targets being aware of the capability of the opponents. "All countries have been ready physically and mentally like Indonesia and Vietnam. But we tried to catch up others by inviting coaches from Indonesia and conducting try-outs in Indonesia," Francisco Amaral said.

The event offered 16 gold medals and seven countries took part in it, namely Brunei Darussalam with five athletes, Cambodia seven Laos 14, Malaysia 11, Timor Leste 15, Vietnam 16 and Indonesia 34.(*)s