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Anxious athletes from quake-hit Lombok hope to spread smiles back home

first_imgJudy Ann’s 1st project for 2020 is giving her a ‘stomachache’ Gov’t in no rush to rescue animals in Taal MOST READ Indonesia’s Lalu Muhammad Zohri competes in a heat of the men’s 100m athletics event during the 2018 Asian Games in Jakarta on August 25, 2018. / AFP PHOTO / Jewel SAMAD“I was so worried about my family — it was a little hard to sleep,” said 18-year-old sprinter Lalu Muhammad Zohri, who hails from the worst-affected northern part of the island.“They called me to tell me not to worry, to just focus on my race. I tried my best,” he added, after reaching the men’s 100m final, where he finished seventh.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSGinebra beats Meralco again to capture PBA Governors’ Cup titleSPORTSJapeth Aguilar wins 1st PBA Finals MVP award for GinebraSPORTSTim Cone still willing to coach Gilas but admits decision won’t be ‘simple yes or no’“Now I can’t wait to go to Lombok to see my family.”Bronze-winning beach volleyball duo Dhita Juliana and Putu Dini Jasita Utami, who are also from Lombok, have captured the hearts of the home fans cheering for them across the country and from the sidelines of Asia’s regional Olympics. View comments LATEST STORIES Carpio hits red carpet treatment for China Coast Guard PLAY LIST 02:14Carpio hits red carpet treatment for China Coast Guard02:56NCRPO pledges to donate P3.5 million to victims of Taal eruption00:56Heavy rain brings some relief in Australia02:37Calm moments allow Taal folks some respite03:23Negosyo sa Tagaytay City, bagsak sa pag-aalboroto ng Bulkang Taal01:13Christian Standhardinger wins PBA Best Player award Peza offers relief to ecozone firms ‘High crimes and misdemeanors’: Trump impeachment trial begins (From L to R) Silver medallists Japan’s Megumi Murakami and Miki Ishii, gold medallists China’s Wang Fang and Xia Xinyi and bronze medallists Indonesia’s Dhita Juliana and Putu Dini Jasita Utami pose during the awards ceremony for the women’s beach volleyball final during the 2018 Asian Games in Palembang on August 27, 2018./ AFP PHOTO / Mohd RASFANBut everyone has been touched in some way on the island — and the aftershocks and tremors continue to terrorise an already fearful population.The duo hope they can help raise awareness — and cash — for the survivors.“We are going to spend some of the money we get as Asian Games athletes for the evacuees there,” Juliana said.The pair’s mid-table pool group finish was enough to launch them into the knockout stages. Their run was ended by a Chinese duo — including defending Asian Games champion Xia Xinyi — in the semi-finals, but they took third place in Monday’s bronze medal match.They are heading straight back home to see their loved ones and join in relief efforts however they can.“We hope Lombok will recover so it can become a beautiful place again, a beautiful tourism destination,” Juliana said.Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next Gretchen Barretto’s daughter Dominique graduates magna cum laude from California college Lights inside SMX hall flicker as Duterte rants vs Ayala, Pangilinan anew Indonesia’s Dhita Juliana (L) and Putu Dini Jasita Utami (R) celebrate a point against Thailand in the women’s beach volleyball pool D during the 2018 Asian Games in Palembang on August 23, 2018. / AFP PHOTO / Mohd RASFANThey can barely walk a few metres in Palembang without being asked for a selfie yet always oblige, hoping their smiles and strength will resonate back home.“We hope all Lombok people are okay, and we are trying our best here to at least share some happiness with them when we win,” said Dhita Juliana, adding that they have been touched by the backing they have had from home throughout the competition.“There has been a lot of support from Lombok — from relatives, friends, everyone there. We’re just so grateful.”Some 555 people have been killed and hundreds of thousands left homeless on the beautiful island of Lombok, around 700 miles (1,100km) from Games host cities Jakarta and Palembang.Juliana, 25, and Utami, 24, said their friends and family all managed to get to safety in time when the two main quakes hit on July 29 and August 5.ADVERTISEMENT Palace OKs total deployment ban on Kuwait OFWs Will you be the first P16 Billion Powerball jackpot winner from the Philippines? Kenya to open its 1st WADA-approved drug-testing lab Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. DepEd’s Taal challenge: 30K students displaced For athletes from quake-hit Lombok competing at their own country’s Asian Games, the pressure is far greater than the usual quest for gold.Competitors from the picturesque island have anxiously followed news of deadly earthquakes that killed more than 500 people, hundreds of miles from Indonesia’s host cities Jakarta and Palembang — and hope their performances can bring a few smiles to faces back home.ADVERTISEMENTlast_img read more