RHYTHMIC gymnast Izzah Amzan was left stunned by a decision to strip her of one of her two gold medals. And she was so distraught that she would not comment on the matter.
Her teammates, however, were standing by her and all believed that she deserved the gold.
Izzah was the joint winner with teammate Koi Sie Yan in the ribbon event on Dec 7 amid protests over biased judging. A day later, she was relegated to second spot, through no fault of her own.
Teammate Amy Kwan Dict Weng said Izzah was confused by the decision but had comforting words for her close friend. “I want to tell Izzah that everything is going to be fine, “ said the 24-year-old.
“I know our team and also people from the National Sports Council (NSC) have protested the decision. We pray we will have the best outcome.
“It’s not anyone’s fault. We have done our best. I just hope Izzah gets what she deserves, which is gold.”
Yesterday, chef de mission Datuk Megat Zulkarnain Omardin lodged an official complaint about the decision to take away the gold.
He argued that according to the SEA Games gymnastics technical handbook, article 12.4 for tie break procedures, all ties for the qualification to the Apparatus Final will be broken in accordance with FIG Technical Rules. No other ties will be broken.
According to Zulkarnain, the Philippines South-East Asian Games Organising Committee (Phisgoc) was supposed to get back to them by yesterday afternoon, but as of press time, there were no updates.
Olympic Council of Malaysia (OCM) president Datuk Seri Norza Zakaria also stated his displeasure over the decision and has urged Phisgoc to take quick action.
“Whatever protest or change to medal must be done before medal presentation. A medal presentation has been done by the organisers.
“This has happened before in Singapore (Koi Sie Yan and S. Shasangari were awarded one gold each for individual all-around in the 2015 SEA Games), I hope Phisgoc takes quick action. The gold medal must be reinstated. At the moment, I will let Phisgoc make the decision.”
Malaysian Gymnastics Federation (MGF) president Rachel Lau was also peeved.
“I am extremely shocked. If they want to follow the SEA Games technical handbook, just follow the handbook. If they want to follow the International Gymnastics Federation (IGF) guidelines, then they should just follow that. Stick to one.”
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