The 23-year-old Fu Jie flexed his muscles with a solid show to defend the gold medal in the pommel horse event by impressing the judges with 13.960 points at the Rizal Memorial Coliseum yesterday.
Crowd favourite, the Philippines’ Carlos Yulo bagged silver by scoring 13.233 points while Vietnam’s Ding Phuong Tanh took the bronze with 12.867.
But there were anxious moments for Fu Jie before he performed his routine yesterday.
Fu Jie became nervous when he saw his more experienced teammate Jeremiah Loo Phay Xing slip in the pommel horse. Jeremiah and Fu Jie were declared the joint gold medal winners at the last SEA Games in Kuala Lumpur two years ago.
Fu Jie took a deep breath and performed his routine calmly. It was good enough for the gold.
“Jeremiah’s fall added pressure on me but once I got on the floor, I just told myself to calm down and absorbed the atmosphere,” said the Penangite.
“The field was strong but I believed in myself. I’m happy to defend the gold.”
Fu Jie added that his second SEA Games gold meant more to Fu Jie.
“I did not perform well in some of the competitions since the last SEA Games in Kuala Lumpur. I suffered some injuries too,” said Fu Jie.
“This year has not been good as well, so this victory means a lot to me. It has given me loads of confidence.”
“This win proves that I still have what it takes to be a competitive gymnast at the international stage.
“I hope for a better future.”