Thirsty Tan wants nothing but the top prize


Good advice: Artistic gymnast Tan Ing Yueh (left) says coach Ng Shu Wai (right) has told her not to fear anyone and to be just herself in competitions.

A disappointing outing at the World Championships is no drawback for Tan Ing Yueh who is still thirsty for success.

The plucky gymnast, who failed to qualify for the 2020 Olympics in Tokyo when she finished 91st in the individual all-around qualifying round in Stuttgart last month, wants nothing less than a gold in the 30th SEA Games in the Philippines.

The 23-year-old said that with no team events in the biennial Games, she wants to regain her confidence and composure by doing well.

“Before the World Championships, I was doing great and even scored 52.000 in the National Championships for the individual all-around. So, to do poorly in Stuttgart was disappointing, ” said the Sunway University communications student.

A score of 52.000 would be even better than Farah Ann Abdul Hadi’s silver-winning effort of 51.850 at the 2015 SEA Games. Gold medal winner Phan Thin Haa scored 53.650.

“I have confidence in my abilities. I’ve done well before, and I am pumped up to get back to my old ways, ” said Ing Yueh.

“I have won gold several times in the SEA Games. The World Championships setback will not bring me down. I just have to keep working hard, and also fine-tune some routines, especially in the floor exercise.”

For the SEA Games, the girls have been tasked with getting at least two golds. Only the individual events will be contested in the Philippines.

The four events that will be contested are vault, balance beam, parallel bar, and floor exercise.

In the 2015 Games in Singapore, Ing Yueh won two golds in the team and uneven bar. In the Kuala Lumpur Games two years ago, she notched another double by winning the team and vault events.

This year, Ing Yueh won silver (floor exercise) and bronze (vault) at the World Challenge Cup in China. She also bagged two silvers at the Stella Zakharova Cup in Ukraine.

Ing Yueh said she will heed the advice of her coaches Natalia Sinkova and Ng Shu Wai, who have constantly told her not to fear anyone and just be herself during competitions.

“They always tell me not to be scared, lah. I must not put too much pressure on myself. Right now, I set myself on competition mode during training sessions. I want to be in my best shape.

“Gymnastics has been my passion for many years. When I am stressed, the thought of the sport would cool me down.

“I want the SEA Games to be the stepping stone to many successes.”

Ing Yueh will be joined by Farah, Tracie Ang, Rachel Yeoh Li Wen and Nur Azira Aziri in the SEA Games.

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