Reinaldy wants Asian title after Games gold
Reinaldy always wanted to fight and next up is an Asian title
As a kid, he loved to pick a fight.
As a newly-minted SEA Games taekwondo champion, 20-year-old Indonesian Reinaldy Atmanegara told The New Paper, with a laugh: "I don't like fighting. Every day fight, it's very tiring."
The boyish-looking pugilist did not betray even a hint of weariness at the Singapore Expo Hall 2 yesterday as he dominated the kyorugi men's under-54kg category with his speedy attacks and ferocious kicks.
Reinaldy first defeated Singapore's Ng Ming Wei 21-7 in the semi-final, before despatching Malaysia's Azri Muhd 11-6 in the battle for gold.
Ng finished with the bronze.
Reinaldy grew up loving to fight with his friends because he was "emotional and easily worked up".
The university undergraduate actually wanted to learn wushu, but his neighbour convinced him to attend taekwondo classes instead, setting Reinaldy on the path towards becoming a SEA Games champion.
To prepare for his first crack at the Games, he passed up the opportunity to take part in the World Taekwondo Championships in Russia last month.
"I wanted to train for the SEA Games, and I'm happy because I won at my first try," said Reinaldy.
Emboldened by his latest success, Reinaldy is targeting a gold at the next Asian Games, which will be held in his home country in 2018.
Eyes lighting up with ambition, he said: "Yes it will be tiring, but I want to compete at home, and I want to be champion again."
Also winning a SEA Games taekwondo gold medal on her first try was Vietnam's Truong Thi Kim Tuyen.
The 18-year-old overwhelmed Filipino Irene Bermejo 19-7 in the kyorugi women's under-46 kg final.
Bermejo had earlier beaten Singapore bronze medallist Chew Xin Wei in the semi-final.
"This is my first big international victory, and I am very happy and proud to win gold for my country at my first SEA Games," said Truong, who was also presented VietJet Air tickets and a 40-inch television by her country's sponsors, after her win.