18 / 11 / 2011
The 26th Southeast Asian Games held in Jakarta, Indonesia brought together top rowers from the region to compete in 11 events.
Racing on Lake Cipule in Karawang, West Java, Vietnam finished at the top of the medals table with three gold, four silver and two bronze medals. The golds came in the women’s quadruple sculls and women’s pair with Pham Thi Thao and Pham Thi Sam competing in both boats. Vietnam also took gold in the men’s pair. Duong Thanh Binh and Nguyen Dinh Huy had a commanding lead in the pair and won by a huge nine seconds over Myanmar.
Second overall on the points table was Thailand who was very close in the tally to Vietnam. Thailand also won three gold medals, but had one less silver medal than Vietnam. Leam Kangnok and Ruthtanaphol Thepp were first for Thailand in the lightweight men’s double sculls with Thailand also winning the open men’s double. In the boat were Chaichana Thakum and Ruthtanaphol Thepp. The third gold went to rowing veteran and Olympian Phuttharaksa Nikre who won the women’s single sculls.
Host nation Indonesia hoped to pick up double figures in medals, but the wide medal spread left Indonesia with five medals and third on the overall medals table. Indonesia did, however, win three golds. These gold medals came in bigger boats: the lightweight men’s four and lightweight women’s four and the last race on the regatta programme, the men’s eight. Three out of the four rowers in the lightweight men’s four also rowed in the eight which finished ahead of Vietnam and Thailand.
The SEA Games are held every second year and this year 44 sports were contested including billiards, bridge and rowing. As rowing is one of the optional sports, it was last part of the Games in 2007 in Thailand. At this regatta, Thailand dominated with the Philippines coming in second. Sydney Olympian Benjamin Tolentino has been in most of the regattas, his first one also in Indonesia 14 years ago and he has won the men’s single three times. Tolentino, 38, lost his single sculls place this year to Nestor Cordova who beat Tolentino at their country’s team trials.
*Extracted from www.worldrowing.com