Nabihah the one to watch

THERE is no gain without pain. Petite artistic gymnast Nabihah Ali will attest to this saying.  

The 14-year-old, who hails from Malacca, admitted that training was painful but it's something she has to endure to excel as a gymnast. 

“It is quite tiring and painful going through the routines almost everyday. But I am prepared to go through the strenuous programme to be a better gymnast. In the past, I have sustained injuries after falls, and it takes time to recover. For me, it’s all part and parcel of being a gymnast. 

“At times I miss my parents and my siblings. But, gymnastics has been my chosen sport since I was eight, so, I don’t think it's right for me to complain,'' said Nabihah. 

But with proper rest and relaxation, the Form Two student of Bukit Jalil Sports School, is back on the mat for her regular training session at the National Sport Council (NSC) gymnasium in Bukit Jalil. Under the guidance of China coach Du Hong Wei and Natalia Sinkova, Nabihah has emerged as a rising star. 

In the recent Malaysian Open, Nabihah won a gold medal in the prestigious all round-event. She outclassed her idol - Nurul Fatiha Abdul Hamid - in the all-round individual event. Nabihah certainly had reasons to be excited as Nurul was her mentor. 

Gymnast Nabihah Ali with coach Natalia Sinkova.

Nabihah said the win was indeed sweet and a reward for all the pain she had gone through in training. 

“It was also rewarding as I had been away from home to be in BJSS for the past three years. I had to prove myself by doing well in competitions,'' said Nabihah. 

Prior to the Malaysian Open, Nabihah had also won medals in the SportsExcel Junior circuit, Cyprus International championships and Indian Open. 

Nabihah's involvement in gymnastics started when she was eight. Then she was a pupil of the SK Seri Bandar in Malacca. After being encouraged by her teacher Abdul Rahman, Nabihah joined the school's gymnastics programme. It was more for fun, but the youngster was selected to attend the National Sports Council (NSC) development programme during a Talent Identification Programme. 

Nabihah said she would like to represent Malaysia in the SEA Games, Asian Games and other big Games. 

Judging by her progress and impressive results in the Malaysian Open, Nabihah is on the right track.  

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