KUALA LUMPUR: The Ng brothers are just raring to go as Malaysia gear up for the World Gymnastics Championships. Elder brother Shu Wai is set to return to China to intensify his training while Shu Mun is so keen on the world meet from Aug 16-24 in Anaheim, US that he has given up his studies.
From the world meet, 98 men and 98 women will be selected to represent their respective countries at the 2004 Athens Olympic Games.
Both Shu Mun and Shu Wai are aiming to perform above themselves at the world artistic gymnastics meet.
The 18-year-old Shu Wai said yesterday that efforts were being made for him to train with the national gymnasts in Beijing.
“There are plans to send me to China again. It will be good to train there as part of my preparation for the world meet,” said Shu Wai, who had also trained in China prior to the Manchester Commonwealth Games and the Busan Asian Games.
In Manchester, Shu Wai won Malaysia's first ever medal in gymnastics when he finished second in the floor exercise. His teammate, Loke Yik Siang also bagged a bronze medal in the pommel horse.
Shu Wai and Yik Siang also qualified for the finals in the all-around event for the first time in the Busan Games.
“In the previous two training stints, I trained at Hebei. It will be good now if I can train with China's national gymnasts. But I have to wait for the association to finalise this matter.”
The siblings are seens as the best Malaysian bets for the Olympics. Only one Malaysian gymnast – Au Li Yen in the women's artistic – has ever made it to the Olympics. She took part in Sydney in 2000.
“I want to do well at the world meet and book a place in the Olympics. I want to be really prepared because the competition will be much more challenging in these two tournaments,” said Shu Wai.
For the 2004 Olympics, a country can have their entire six-member team in the Games if they finish among the top 12 in the world championships. Teams placed 13th to 18, will be get to send their top two gymnasts. Those placed 19th to 28th will get one entry each. The remaining four gymnasts are wild cards.
Shu Mun, 17, meanwhile, is determined to follow in the footstep of his big brother and he has decided to quit his studies to concentrate on training.
“I will not be sitting for my Sijil Pelajaran Malaysia (SPM) this year. I am training full-time now. My aim for this year is to do well in my first outings at the World Championships and the Vietnam SEA Games,” said Shu Mun, who was named as the Best Sports Boy of the Malaysian Games (Sukma) in Sabah last year after winning three gold medals.
But before the hard work begins, there is time yet for a few days of leisure. Both Shu Mun and Shu Wai will take a short break first to celebrate Chinese New Year with their family in Taiping.
Their training, along with Onn Kwang Tung, Ooi Wei Siang, Lum Wan Fang and Heng Wah Mai, will resume next week.