SEA Games: Londa the long jump queen

SEA Games: Londa the long jump queen
Maria Londa of Indonesia in action in the women's long jump final

Maria Londa made her stamp at the SEA Games yesterday, after leaping her way to gold once again in the women's long jump event.

The Indonesian won the event in the previous edition of the Games in Myanmar in 2013, with a jump of 6.39m.

Last year at the Asian Games in Incheon, South Korea, she proved herself a force to be reckoned with internationally, when she took home the gold with a 6.55m effort.

Yesterday, at the National Stadium at Kallang, she upped the ante, when she jumped her longest yet - 6.70m.

It was an emphatic statement by the 24-year-old.

Speaking after her win, Londa said: "My first two jumps weren't so good because I'm used to gravel and not the Mondo synthetic track here… I needed time to adjust to it.

"Once I adjusted, I was okay."

Four competitors in the event achieved their personal bests: Londa, her long-time rivals Vietnam's Bui Thi Thu Thao and the Philippines' Marestella Torres, and Singapore's Eugenia Tan.

Bui finished second with a best jump of 6.65m, and Torres ended up in third spot with 6.41m, a far cry from her SEA Games record of 6.71m set in 2011 in Indonesia.

SECOND FIDDLE

Bui, in particular, will be sick of consistently playing second fiddle to the Indonesian.

At the 2013 SEA Games, Londa won gold while Bui settled for the bronze. They faced off again last year at the Asian Games, with Londa once again leaving Bui to claim the silver.

Yesterday, despite landing a record jump, Bui, 23, once again failed to secure the gold.

"Bui finished behind me at the 2014 Asian Games, so I knew I was in for a fight. There were many good competitors here," said Londa, who, smiling broadly at another Games win, added: "I dedicate this win to my family."


This article was first published on June 11, 2015.
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