PETALING JAYA: The Malaysia Games (Sukma) was meant to be a special one for young rhythmic gymnast Iman Alisha Fakhri Yassin.
The national junior athlete, who represents the Federal Territories, was looking forward to bowing out in style in her final Sukma this year as she would no longer be eligible for the junior event in 2021.
However, Sukma, originally scheduled from July 11-19 in Johor, has been postponed indefinitely because of the worsening Covid-19 pandemic. It is the first time the Games is postponed since its inception in 1986, and chances are that the Games may be held next year.
Iman, who will turn 16 next year, naturally, is feeling disappointed as the age limit for rhythmic gymnastics is 15.
“I was really looking forward to featuring in Sukma this year at my dad’s hometown in Johor. This is the last year for me as a junior to compete in this prestigious Games, it’s sad as I will be a senior next year, ” said Iman.
“I know that the cancellation of National Schools (MSSM) meet and the postponement of Sukma is imperative as we need to get over this Covid-19 situation as fast as we can.
“I am grateful though that I got to participate in the previous Sukma Games in Perak.”
In the Perak Sukma in 2018, she dazzled in the team event with gold, silver in clubs and bronze in hoop.
“I look forward to learning my senior routines, and hopefully, I will be able to go to many international competitions at a higher level next year, ” she said.
With no competitions and training due to the movement control order, Iman has been practising via online at home.
“Thankfully, with the use of technology, the coaches have been able to set up special training sessions for all the gymnasts, ” said Iman.
“I also work out with my father (Datuk Fakhri Yassin) downstairs at times when he is doing his strength training, and hopefully, this will help to maintain my level of endurance.
“We still manage to do ballet with our coaches using the zoom app.
“The challenge is, sometimes we don’t have enough space to throw our apparatus but the coaches have come up with fun ways of using toilet rolls and books for us to practise our throws and balances.
“It is definitely different from what we’re used to, but it’s fun as well. My mother’s (Fara Rahim) friend in the United States has also told us of a site where we find masterclass training sessions by world-famous gymnasts like Halkina Katsiaryna.
“We just have to pay a minimal fee and get access to classes on warm-ups, stretches and etc, ” said Iman who is happy that she still gets to meet her coaches and teammates online.
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