Gymnast Izzah down to silver in Filipino U-turn

KUALA LUMPUR: They say your word is as good as your bond – but not for the Philippines South-East Asian Games Organising Committee (Phisgoc).

They going back on their reinstatement of rhythmic gymnast Izzah Amzan (pic) as a joint gold medal winner with Koi Sie Yan in the ribbon event.

In a bizarre move, last year’s SEA Games hosts have declared Izzah as a silver medallist again despite the promise that the 21-year-old would be awarded the gold in the event mired by alleged biased judging.

In fact, they have changed Malaysia’s medal tally from 56-57-71 to 55-58-71 in their official website.

The latest change has irked Olympic Council of Malaysia (OCM) president Datuk Seri Norza Zakaria, who has sent an official letter seeking clarification.

“We want Phisgoc to change the medal tally and make it official that Izzah is the deserving winner,” said Norza.

“They promised but it seems the technical delegate at the event still insisted that there can only be one gold medal winner.”

It is learnt that the technical delegate was upset at the manner in which some of top brass Malaysian officials had rudely questioned her about the biased judging in the ribbon event after Sie Yan and Izzah were declared joint winners.

A day later, Izzah was relegated to second position and that prompted chef de mission Datuk Megat Zulkarnain Omardin to lodge an official complaint by pointing out that in the SEA Games gymnastics technical handbook, two athletes are allowed to share medals.

Phisgoc accepted the protest and agreed to add her gold medal in the medal tally – but it looks like they have changed their mind again.

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