Thursday, December 17, 2009

No glitter as Robani has to settle for silver

ROBANI (kiri) sekadar memenangi pingat perak dalam acara 110m lari berpagar.

THAILAND'S Jamras Rittidet snatched the men's 110m hurdles gold away from Malaysia in a record-breaking run as Robani Hassan was again reduced to the bridesmaid's role at the National Stadium in Vientiane yesterday.

But while Robani was left with the consolation of a silver medal, teammate Faiz Muhammad did not even cross the finish line as he stumbled halfway through the race.

Jamras clocked 13.89 seconds for his personal best and a new Sea Games record while Robani trailed home second in 14.05.

Suphan Wongsriphu, the previous record holder and 2003 champion, claimed bronze in 14.05s after only four runners lined up for the final.

Suphan's win in Hanoi was the only time a Malaysian failed to win the 110m hurdles since 1987 and in the absence of 2007 winner Rayzam Shah Wan Sofian, Robani bore the burden of ensuring the tradition continued.

Robani said he felt a tug as he sped over the first couple of hurdles and claimed it was a similar situation which sent Faiz sprawling to the ground.

"I don't like to make excuses for having lost but in hurdles it's normal for the runners to bang into each other. Suphan's style is to run close to the next runner and I felt like he was elbowing me away which cost me precious time.

"The lane allotments also favoured the Thais because both were running on the outside while Faiz and I were sandwiched in the middle," said Robani, who added the silver medal to his collection of one gold (2005) and one silver (2003) from previous appearances at the Sea Games.

Robani, 26, vowed to return in two years time to wrest the gold medal away from Jamras, who beat the Malaysian for the first time ever.

"I just had no luck today (yesterday). But in two years' time, I promise I'll return to beat this guy," said Robani, pointing to Jamras who was standing next to him before they both obliged requests to be photographed together.

Hafizuddin Sahadan earned a surprise bronze in the men's pole vault after three other competitors failed to set a mark to leave the 20-year-old Malaysian in third on 4.50m.

Thailand's Kreeta Sintawacheewa won gold in a new Games record of 5.21m.

In other events, Noor Imran Hadi finished fourth in the men's 200m in 21.60s as Indonesia's Suryo Agung Wibowo, who ran a blistering 10.17 in the 100m on Sunday, timed 20.85 to complete a sprint double.

Nurul Sarah Kadir just missed out on a medal in the women's 200m when she timed 24.10s to the 24.03 of bronze medallist Le Ngoc Phuong of Vietnam.

Norjannah Hafiszah Jamaluddin finished last of six runners in 24.48 as Vietnam's Vu Thi Phuong claimed gold in 23.31 to also finish with a sprint double.

Siti Zubaidah Adabi finished fifth in the women's long jump with a 5.83m effort in an event won by Marestella Torres of the Philippines, who leaped 6.68m for a new Games record.

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