Official Website of Brunei Darussalam National Olympic Council
Goatherder lifts Indonesia to gold
Saturday, 12th December 2009

A GOATHERDER-turned-weightlifter set a meet record at the Southeast Asian (SEA) Games to give Indonesia one of their three gold medals yesterday.

Eko Yuli Irawan, a 20-year-old villager from Lampung province, won the 62-kilogramme weightlifting category with a total lift of 300kg.

He lifted 135 in the snatch, beating the previous record of 130 set by Thailand's Chom Singnol in 2001. In the clean-and jerk, Eko lifted 165, bettering 160 by compatriot Gostar Junianto in 2003.

Eko's total lift was a SEA Games record, beating Gostar's 290. Eko, who became interested in weightlifting while watching national team

members as they practised, won the bronze medal at the Beijing Olympics and a gold at the World Junior Championship earlier this year.

The son of a bicycle rickshaw driver, he was only 11 when he first joined a weightlifting club, receiving an allowance of 7,000 rupiah (less than US$1), which he gave to his parents to help make ends meet.

After winning the bronze, Eko told the Jakarta Post newspaper that goat herding taught him responsibility. "If I lost a goat, I had to pay for it. We were poor. We had to be careful doing our job," he said.

Indonesia's second gold came in the women's 58kg category, won by Raema Lisa Rumbewas, a silver medallist at the Athens Olympics.

Their third victory was by Umar Syarief who won the men's karate-do 84kg and above category

Courtesy from Brunei Times