GlobeAsia Lists / October 2018
Having been involved in pencak silat, a martial art indigenous to Indonesia, since a very young age, Wewey Wita's hard work and dedication over the years paid off when she won the nation's 30th gold medal during this year's Asian Games. Born in Tangerang, Banten, on Feb. 5, 1993 – the first of six siblings – she initially took up the sport to learn self-defense. However, she later decided to participate in competitions, which saw her win a gold medal at the Phuket World Championship in 2015 and another at the 2017 Southeast Asian Games in Kuala Lumpur.
Dubbed "Spider-Woman," Aries Susanti Rahayu surprised many with her performance in the rock-climbing competition at the 2018 Asian Games, which saw her earn gold in the women's speed-climbing event, which she completed in a record 7.61 seconds. She won her first gold medal in the IFSC Climbing World Cup in Chongqing, China, in May this year when she beat Elena Timofeeva of Russia and set a record 7.51 seconds. Ayu, as she is popularly known, was born in Grobogan, Central Java, on March 21, 1995. As a child, she always loved climbing trees. Her hobby became a full-blown passion, which led her to interrupt her studies at Muhammadiyah University Semarang to focus on the sport.
Lindswell Kwok, born on Sept. 24, 1991, is an Indonesian wushu practitioner specializing in the taijiquan and taijijian styles. She is one of the country's top athletes, having won nine medals – five of them gold – in various international championships over the past nine years. Lindswell recently also won gold at the 2018 Asian Games, having earned silver in the event four years earlier. The Indonesian Olympic Committee (KOI) presented her with the Best Athlete award in 2013, while she is also a recipient of the Dharma Sports Medal, the country's highest sporting honor. Lindswell, who took up wushu in 1999, also obtained degrees in business management and psychology from the University of North Sumatra. However, she previously indicated that she plans to retire from competitive sports after this year's Asian Games.
Liliyana Natsir has won many prestigious international badminton competitions since becoming a professional shuttler. Her crowning achievement is winning a gold medal at the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro, when she and her partner, Ahmad Tontowi, won the mixed doubles title by defeating Malaysia's Chang Peng Soon and Goh Liu Ying. Liliyana, who was born in Manado, North Sulawesi, on Sept. 9, 1985, previously won silver at the 2012 London Olympics, when she was also paired up with Tontowi.
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