Mongolia's Undram Khashbat performing during the ball event of the 13th Juniors Rhythmic Gymnastics Asian Championships 2014.
KUALA LUMPUR: Mongolia may not be a powerhouses in gymnastics, but with the sport growing in popularity in the country that may just change in the years to come.
Khaliun Batbold, a former international and now coach of the national team, revealed that back home in Mongolia, girls are starting to pick up gymnastics as young as four or five years old.
“There are so many gymnasts in Mongolia. The sport is really popular. It’s very good for us. Hopefully, one day we will a have a top gymnast in the world,” said Batbold.
To gain experience and exposure, the Mongolians have sent four gymnasts – Ariunsuvd Javkhlantuya, Uuganbayar Baatarzorig, Shurentsetseg Batdelger and Undram Khashbat – to compete in the ongoing Junior Asian Championships. Batbold hopes her gymnasts will gain from their time in Malaysia.
Only two gymnasts – Batdelger, 15, and 13-year-old Khashbat – are competing in all four apparatus events (ball, clubs, hoop and ribbon). Baatazorig, 14, is competing in three events (ball, clubs and ribbon) while 13-year-old Javkhlantuya is entered only for the hoop event.