IT'S like starting all over again for young artistic gymnast Farah Ann Abdul Hadi after the pint-sized Year Six pupil of SK Seafield (3), USJ 8, had to take a six-week break from training after a mishap during a competition.
Farah was in action in the vaulting event in the Women's Games in December and landed wrongly while going through a routine.
She felt a sharp pain on her left knee and it was later discovered that there was fracture as well as a muscle tear.
“I had to be on crutches for about three weeks. It was frustrating resting at home.
“I had to stay away from training for about six weeks. After the crutches were removed, I concentrated on upper body exercises,'' said Farah, who resumed training at the National Sports Council (NSC) Gymnasium last month.
Under the watchful eyes of coaches Liu Shu Nan and Natalia Sinkova, Farah is going through the paces diligently. However, she was quick to admit that it was not easy.
“It is like starting from the basics. I am limiting myself to some simple exercises and routines to regain my fitness. It has been difficult but I have to go through it to get into shape for the Sukma in Alor Star,'' said Farah.
Farah has come a long way since she started being involved in gymnastics. She was a member of the Selangor junior training programme based in Shah Alam and began taking part in competitions in 2000.
In her first competition, Farah won a gold medal in the freehand event in Grade Two Rhythmic Gymnastics.
After that, she became involved in artistic gymnastic. In 2002, she won a special award in the Selangor State Sports Awards.
The following year, Farah was invited to join the national squad's training programme in Bukit Jalil. The systematic training in Bukit Jalil saw Farah making steady progress.
“My routines were polished and I could excel in the routines gracefully. I have to thank the coaches for their guidance. Without their assistance, I don’t think I could have done well in gymnastics,'' said Farah.
Despite being one of the top gymnasts in the country, Farah was unable to represent Malaysia in international meets like the SEA Games and Asian Games as international rules stipulate that only those aged above 13 are eligible for international competitions.
But Farah will be a strong contender for a place in the Malaysian team for next year's SEA Games in Bangkok.
Sinkova said it was a pity that Farah was unable to represent Malaysia in international competitions.
“She is a hard-working girl and has excellent fighting qualities. She should be able to recover from this minor setback and do well at Sukma,'' said Sinkova.
Farah will be taking part in age group competitions before Sukma in May.
“I am confident of regaining my form before Sukma,'' said Farah, who trains six days a week.
Name: Farah Ann Abdul Hadi
Date of Birth: May 3, 1994
School: SK Seafield 3, USJ 8 (Year Six)
Ht: 1.50m Wt: 38kg
Coach: Liu Shu Nan and Natalia Sinkova
Ambition: Gymnastics coach
Hobbies: Reading and music
Favourite Sports Personality: Malaysian gymnast Nurul Fatiha Abdul Hamid
Best Results: One gold (beam), one silver (team) and two bronze (all round and bars) at Sukma 2004.