PETALING JAYA: Mohd Shahrul Aimy was an avid footballer who would spend hours with his friends on the field at Bukit Payong Primary School at the age of 10.
After football, the boy from Marang, would go to the school’s gymnastics centre and have fun on the trampoline.
He was not to know then that one day he would become one of the top gymnasts in the country.
There was a gymnastics selection in the school, he took part and there was no looking back as, at the age of 11, he was inducted into the Bukit Jalil Primary School.
His dreams faced a hiccup when he suffered a left knee fracture but now that he has full recovered, he has set his targets high – as high as his trampoline jumps.
Now, the 18-year-old has his eyes on the Olympics, Asian Games and Commonwealth Games, besides the World Championships and World Cups.
In fact, the pint-sized Shahrul wants to be as good as former national artistic gymnast Ng Shu Wai, the first Malaysian to win a silver – in the 2006 Doha Asian Games.
“Now that I am in the main squad, I have dreams to achieve. Of course, the Olympics is a dream, and I hope to achieve it in the future. I want to follow the footsteps of Ng Shu Wai because I idolise him.
“We are close, and he always shares his wisdom during training sessions.”
Last year, Shahrul fractured his knee and was out for seven months, but returned to training this year. However, that has been halted by the Covid-19 pandemic,
Shahrul, however, remains optimistic.
“I have seen lots of positive improvements because it is tough facing the other juniors like Luqman Al-Hafiz and Teoh Chuen Feng, who are also training with the senior team. Competition with them is good because you tell yourself to do better.
“Training with SEA Games medallists like Jeremiah (Loo Phay Xiang), Zul (Bahrin Mat Asri) and (Tan) Fu Jie has increased my focus and determination. Right now, I am focused on getting back to my best condition.
“During MCO, we are doing online training and following the fitness routines given by the coaches. Shahrul said training still goes on during the month of Ramadan, but the lack of equipment has seen him concentrating on his conditioning.
“This is the longest time I have been with my family. I will cherish every moment because when I head back to training, I will not have much time with them.”