Proud news came from the Southeast Asian sporting event, the 2021 SEA Games in Vietnam. Odekta Elvira Naibaho’s name became trending topic on various social media because of her success in winning gold in the women’s marathon. Odekta’s success finally ended Indonesia’s gold fast in the last 11 years at the SEA Games.
Prior to winning gold at the SEA Games, Odekta was also listed as the winner of the 10,000-meter marathon bronze medal at the 2019 Philippine SEA Games. The achievement of gold for Indonesia is the fruit of Odekta’s hard work and struggles so far. Let’s take a look at Odekta’s struggle to become a proud athlete!
Growing up from a simple family
Born on November 5, 1991, Odekta is the third child of six children from Marlin Naibaho and Manalu Nurcahaya. He grew up from a simple family in North Sumatra. Before entering the world of athletics, Odekta had time to sell coconut ice when he was in high school. After graduating from high school, Odekta tried his luck to study in Jakarta. In the capital, Odekta joins his cousin who is practicing boxing.
Early career of an Odekta Elvina Naibaho
Odekta never dreamed of becoming a runner. His encounter with athletics was accidental. At that time, Odekta migrated to Jakarta because he wanted to go to college. Odekta said that he had a less than ideal weight at that time. Feeling wanting to have a more ideal body, Odekta finally decided jogging and ran in the Senayan area.
Unfortunately, he is often overtaken by the women who also run there, even by the mothers. Annoyed, Odekta’s competitive spirit begins to show. Since then, running has become his routine. Odekta even joined the Indonesian Young Athletics club, which later led him to become a professional.
His name has become known since the 2016 PON XIX event in West Java
Since enjoying running, Odekta often participates in various long-distance running events with his club members. The peak was in 2016, Odekta participated in the XIX PON which was held in West Java. This woman from North Sumatra managed to bring bronze in the marathon number.
At the XX PON which will be held in Papua in 2021, Odekta represented DKI Jakarta and managed to beat his idol, Triyaningsih and managed to bring three gold medals in three competitions. These are the women’s 5,000 meters, the women’s 10,000 meters, and the women’s marathon. For the first time, Odekta made Triyaningsih fail to win PON gold since his first participation in 2004.
Odekta said that Triyaningsih was his idol
Last year, Odekta managed to beat his idol, Triyaningsih, by winning three gold medals at once. However, it is undeniable that he entered the world of this sport because he was inspired by Triyaningsih.
Uniquely, Odekta, who idolizes Triyaningsih, has now ended Indonesia’s drought of gold for the SEA Games in the last 11 years. Where 11 years ago, the SEA Games gold in the women’s marathon was donated by Triyaningsih. Previously in 2019, Odekta almost won gold in the marathon branch. Unfortunately, he fainted from experiencing heat stroke in the final 600 meters and took home bronze.
Had not got the blessing of his parents
Although his name is now shining, Odekta said that at the beginning he was involved in this sport, his parents did not give their blessing. Odekta’s parents had forced him to take the army test, although in the end he didn’t pass either.
The various bronzes he won, including this most recent gold, were presented to Indonesia as well as to his parents. Odekta wants to prove that he can and is not wrong in choosing his path as a running athlete. I hope that Odekta’s career path will be smoother in the future!
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Odekta’s success has made her Indonesia’s new hope for the women’s marathon. Odekta will even become Indonesia’s delegate at the upcoming 2024 Paris Olympics. He will also run again at the 2023 SEA Games which will be held in Cambodia.