Smiles all around with event inclusion

Taking a break: National artistic gymnasts Farah Ann Abdul Hadi (left) and Tracie Ang sharing a light moment together before their podium training session at Rizal Memorial Coliseum in Manila yesterday.

THE last-minute inclusion of the individual all-around event in the women’s artistic gymnastics has brought a smile to Tan Ing Yueh’s face.

The plucky gymnast from Kuala Lumpur has now set a target of beating her personal best of 52.000 in the event.

She recorded that score when she won the National Championships in April at the National Sports Council (NSC) Gymnasium in Bukit Jalil, Kuala Lumpur.

“Not just for the individual all-around. I hope to break my personal best in all the events that I’m competing in, ” said the 23-year-old.

“So far, everything in the Philippines looks good. The competition venue is just a stone’s throw away from our hotel, so we avoid the mad traffic here.

“The coliseum looks good, and I cannot wait for competition day on Dec 2.”

Ing Yueh and her teammates looked lively during the training session at the Rizal Memorial Coliseum in Manila.

While some contestants from other nations looked pensive, our girls were energetic as they got used to the apparatus in the gymnasium.

Ing Yueh said some gymnasts in the region have shown marked improvements during the earlier training sessions but admitted that she has not seen some gymnasts in the Games before.

“New or old, they all look good.

“The standard of gymnastics in this region has improved, and Malaysia cannot rest on its laurels.

“For us, we are competing against ourselves. How we handle ourselves on competition day matters.

“I have to continually tell myself to keep focused and not put too much pressure on myself during competition. My target obviously is to win medals.”

Meanwhile, her teammate Rachel Yeoh Li Wen is glad to take part in her first SEA Games, after missing out on the last two due to injuries.

The 21-year-old Penangite said she was looking to make her presence felt in the team by achieving the targeted scores given by her coaches.

“To me, it is possible to win medals, but the most important thing for me is to stay calm and do my best.

“For now, the only fight is within me. I want to make a good impact in my first SEA Games.”

The Malaysian challenge in Manila will be spearheaded by Farah Ann Abdul Hadi, Ing Yueh, Rachel and Tracie Ang.

The five events that will be contested are the individual all-around, floor exercise, balance beam, vault and parallel bar.

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