Japanese mountain too high for Fu Jie

  • Gymnastics
  • Friday, 15 May 2020

PETALING JAYA: The Asian Championships was supposed to be the platform for national artistic gymnast Tan Fu Jie to have a feel of the Olympics, even if he does not make it to the Games proper.

The 24-year-old, who won the pommel horse gold in last year’s SEA Games in Manila, was looking forward to the tournament at the Olympic Gymnastics Centre in Tokyo Bay from May 2-5 – but there’s only disappointment for him.

The meet has been postponed and the new dates have not been fixed.

Fu Jie had missed out on Olympics qualification when he finished fifth in the pommel horse final with 13.400 points in the International Gymnastics Federation (FIG) World Cup in Melbourne in February, but the Terengganu-born athlete said competing at the venue itself would have given him great pleasure.

To qualify for the Games, Fu Jie had to finish in the top three in any individual apparatus over three tournaments.

The failure to finish in the top three in Melbourne has dampened his hopes, but he still has an outside chance is he finishes in the top two in the all-around final at the Asian Championship.

That would have been a tough ask from the lanky gymnast but with the postponement, he cannot even try.

“I was really looking forward to going for Asian Championships this year because we would basically be testing the Olympics venue,” he said.

“That was really exciting, but it is not happening this year. There is a chance for Olympics qualification, but it’s going to be a very tough battle.

“I have yet to discuss this with my coach, but I think we will figure it out once we start training.”

Training remains indoors for now, but the Youth and Sports Ministry said plans are in place for athletes to begin training in the first week of June after the Hari Raya celebrations, with priority given to those who have qualified for the Olympics.

Fu Jie said he could maintain his body condition through indoor workouts but admitted that he needed intense training to ensure he was competition-ready when tournaments resume.

“I feel like we do need to have some more intense training sessions, but at the same time, it has its risks.

“But I’m sure the government know what should be done and I will follow whatever instructions that are given.”

If there are no competitions for him this year, Fu Jie said he was going to concentrate on his degree in psychology at Help University.

“I think I will focus more on my studies this year since there are really are no more competitions this year.”

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Tan Fu Jie , Gymnastics , Olympics


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