Fatin Zakirah Zain Jalany in action for Malaysia during the team event of the rhythmic gymnastics at the Glasgow Commonwealth Games. - AFP
GLASGOW: The Malaysian rhythmic gymnasts had the silver medal in their grasp but a costly slip in the ball event resulted in a team bronze instead – and that too by just 0.8 of a point.
Team manager Petrina Low said expectations were high on Amy Kwan Dict Weng, Wong Poh San and Fatin Zakirah Zain Jalany on the opening day of the rhythmic gymnastics competition at the SSE Hydro in Glasgow on Thursday.
In the end, the team could only manage a total of 135.825 points for the bronze.
Canada won the gold through Patricia Bezzoubenko, Maria Kitkarska, Annabelle Kovacs with a 141.450 total while the Welsh trio of Laura Halford, Nikara Jenkins, Francesca Jones took silver with a 136.625 total.
Petrina said that the narrow loss is clear proof that competition is very stiff at the Games and that “there is no room for any slip-ups at this level”.
“Gymnasts from Wales and England are fast catching up and our girls have to be on their toes. Our girls were in second spot before a costly slip in the ball event resulted in us slipping a spot down. It’s a pity we lost the silver by 0.8 of a point in the team final,” said Petrina, who expects them to make amends in the apparatus final events today.
Canada’s Beezoubenko, who is of Canadian-Russian parentage, is the favourite to make a clean sweep in the apparatus final after being ranked top in three of the four disciplines – hoop (15.750pts), ball (14.500) and clubs (15.575) in the team final.
Malaysia’s Poh San top scored in the ribbons discipline, scoring 13.925 points.
Petrina said that Poh San will compete in the hoop, club and ribbons while Amy will see action in all four apparatus.
“We should be able to get a better medal … I always set high standards for the girls,” said Petrina.
Amy, meanwhile, admitted that the level of competition was high.
“But we are determined to do better than the bronze medal won in the team final. We will give a strong performance,” she said.
At the last Games in New Delhi in 2010, rhythmic gymnast Elaine Koon contributed five medals – one gold, one silver and three bronzes – in the individual competition.
In Melbourne in 2006, Malaysia bagged a silver in the team event. Durratun Nashihin Rosli was the star performer with three individual silvers while Lim Wen Chean got two individual bronzes.