Odekta Elvina can't hold back her tears. After she crosses the finish line in My Dinh Stadium on Thursday (19/5) morning, she cried on the shoulder of her coach, Wita Witarsa.
The 30-year old dreams finally come true, to hear Indonesia's national anthem in Vietnam. She crossed the finish line with a time of 2:55:280.
Odekta then takes out a piece of paper, "Finally, my dreams came true, to hear Indonesia Raya," was written on it. A photo of Odekta and her parents accompany the message.
Odekta wrote down the message a day before the race, she was confident that she will win her first gold medal in SEA Games.
"I prepared it last night. I wanted to put a face paint but I couldn't get hold of them. I wrote this message because my parents didn't agree with me becoming an athlete. But this is proof, the best moment of my career," said Odekta.
"I want to thank my mom and dad, for accepting me as an athlete. To hear Indonesia Raya is a satisfaction that can't be bought," Odekta added.
Odekta's career as an athlete didn't get off to a smooth start. Her parents didn't agree with her decision, pushing her to enlist in the Army instead. When she joined the National Team Training Camp and compete in the 2019 SEA Games, she did not win any medals.
"My parents' prayer and my coach, who I consider my own parent, their prayers protect me and give me positive energy," said Odekta.
"I smiled throughout the race even though I am cramping. I want to give a positive example to the people, that there are sacrifices and prayers from people around you," said Odekta.
In the Men's event, Agus Prayogo had to settle for the silver medal. He finished with a time of 2:25.380, 30 seconds behind host' Hoang Nguyen Thanh.
"I started well this morning, the weather was nice. My time today is actually a minute better than when I win gold in Manila [SEA Games 2019]. I'm grateful for this achievement, but the host is more prepared," said Agus.