MGF president Rachel is hooping mad over lost golds

  • Gymnastics
  • Sunday, 08 Dec 2019

Both gold medalists in the rhythmic gymnastic ribbon final event (back row, from left) Izzah Amzan and Koh Sie Yan having a photograph with (front row, from left) Malaysian Gymnastics Federation (MGF) president Rachel Lau, OCM president Datuk Seri Norza Zakaria, Youth and Sports Minister Syed Saddiq Syed Abdul Rahman and Chef de mission Datuk Megat Zulkarnain Omardin during the award ceremony of the SEA Games at the Rizal Memorial Coliseum in Manila on Saturday. IZZRAFIQ ALIAS / The Star. December 7, 2019.

MALAYSIA won golds in two of the four apparatus in rhythmic gymnastics – in fact winning two golds in one of the apparatus – but Malaysian Gymnastics Federation president (MGF) Rachel Lau (pic) was one unhappy woman.

She was left complaining about the two golds that got away.

Izzah Amzan defended her gold in the ball event, and then shared the honours with teammate Koi Sie Yan in the ribbon, but Izzah and Sie Yan had to play second fiddle in the hoop and clubs respectively.

Rachel, who was always cheering the girls on at the Rizal Memorial Coliseum in Manila, was so incensed at one point that she even entered the arena to express her displeasure over a decision to give higher scores to the Philippines’ Danielle Pisa compared to Izzah in the hoop event.She also protested the decision to give silver to Izzah in the ribbon when she had the same score as Sie Yan, who scored 15.200.

After the protest supported by chef-de-mission Datuk Megat Zulkarnanin Omardin and Olympic Council of Malaysia (OCM) president, Datuk Seri Norza Zakaria, both gymnasts were awarded gold.

The Malaysian gymnastics team have exceeded their target of six golds, by winning nine in Manila, but Rachel was disappointed over two lost golds.

“The SEA games had a lot of cheats, there has been a lot of biased judging. We have already appealed to the International Gymnastics Federation (FIG), it is a serious case,” she said.

“We have seen a lot of unfairness, inequality, and the judging has been nonsensical. We qualified first for pretty much everything on Friday, and yesterday we lost two golds. It doesn’t make any sense.”

Norza concurred that the judging was suspicious.

“We saw what happened yesterday. It was suspicious judging. Whatever that happens, we will settle it amicably.

“Besides the judging, there are other problems too. It’s part and parcel of big tournaments. But as athletes and coaches, focus on our core – that is to deliver the best. Think about the country and the people. Whatever the obstacle, we will continue striving for success.”

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