Saturday, 22 February 2020

Pocket Rocket Triyaningsih Goes the Distance Once More

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  • Indonesia's Triyaningsih celebrates after winning the women's 5000m finals at SEA Games in Singaporen, June 9, 2015. The 28-year-old from Central Java just loves to run and appears to get stronger as the distance increases, her rhythmic stride quickening in the second half of the race as she crushed her opponents in the SEA Games 5,000 metres final. REUTERS/Edgar Su

    Indonesia's Triyaningsih celebrates after winning the women's 5000m finals at SEA Games in Singaporen, June 9, 2015. The 28-year-old from Central Java just loves to run and appears to get stronger as the distance increases, her rhythmic stride quickening in the second half of the race as she crushed her opponents in the SEA Games 5,000 metres final. REUTERS/Edgar Su

    TEMPO.CO, Singapore - She may stand just 4-feet-10-inches tall but what Triyaningsih lacks in height, she more than makes up for with a sheer determination that has led the Indonesian to dominate Southeast Asian distance running for almost a decade.

    The 28-year-old from Central Java just loves to run and appears to get stronger as the distance increases, her rhythmic stride quickening in the second half of the race as she crushed her opponents in the SEA Games 5,000 metres final on Tuesday.

    Her victory in Singapore was never in doubt once she turned the screw on her rivals in a dominant display of front running that earned Triyaningsih her ninth SEA Games distance gold medal since her breakthrough victory in Thailand eight years ago.

    Triyaningsih looked fresh as she crossed the line in a Games-record time of 16 minutes 18.06 seconds, crushing her team mate Rini Budiarti by more than 12 seconds with Myanmar's Phyu War Thet a further 24 seconds adrift.

    "I tend to run around 160 km each week during training in Bandung so I found today's race very easy as I go much further than that on my own," a smiling Triyaningsih told Reuters at trackside.

    The Indonesian wasted little time looking ahead to the 10,000m on Thursday, where she is likely to take her gold medal tally into double figures with the prospect of more to come in Kuala Lumpur in 2017 and beyond.

    "The 10,000 should not be a problem for me as I have not raced competitively since May so I am quite fresh," she added.

    "I have not made too many plans for the future yet but I do hope to still be running when the Asian Games are held in Indonesia in 2018.

    "Only God knows how many more SEA Games I will attend but I want to take part in the next one at least."

    Triyaningsih's love of distance running was never more evident than when she emulated Emil Zatopek by winning the 5,000 metres, 10,000 metres, and marathon at the SEA Games on home soil in 2011.

    Zatopek remains the first and only man to win golds at the three distance events in a single Olympics when he left his rivals trailing in his wake at the 1952 Games in Helsinki.

    The Czech great is not one of Triyaningsih's running heroes, however, the Indonesian admitting she was inspired to race by someone much closer to home -- her older sister Ruwiyati, who still holds the SEA Games marathon record set back in 1995.

    "My sister still holds that record, it is something I and my family are very proud of. She will always be my hero," Triyaningsih added.

    (Editing by Patrick Johnston)

    REUTERS