IT’S time rhythmic gymnastics looks beyond the SEA Games after dominating the event at the KL SEA Games.
It’s no surprise really to see them sweeping all eight gold medals at stake.
They have been peerless in the South-East Asian region for the last 20 years since the rhythmic gymnastics programme was initiated for the 1989 KL SEA Games.
National coach Lidia Legotina, who has been with Malaysia since the programme started in 1987, admitted that “we’ve always looked beyond the SEA Games”.
“There were some imperfections but, generally, they did well. This is the minimum that is expected from the girls at the SEA Games,” said the Russian, 55.
“Koi Sie Yan is competent and competitive. She overcame an ankle injury and gave her best. She struggled in training but raised her game in competition – she’s a leader and we can rely on her.
“As a team, we want to go higher. We’ll get the juniors to join in as it’s always good to have a big pool to chose from and prepare for the Commonwealth Games (in Gold Coast, Australia, next April).”
Eighteen-year-old Sie Yan emerged as the top performer by winning the team, individual all-around, hoop and clubs. She is the first Malaysian to defend the individual all-around title.
The others in the victorious team were Amy Kwan Dict Weng, Izzah Amzan and Chong Lok Yi.
Amy (ribbon) and Izzah (ball) also stepped up to win the individual apparatus finals.
Malaysia also won two gold medals in group exercise through the six-member team of Amira Sofiya Amirul Fares, Chan Mei Thung, Koh Jie Yi, Tee Wei Qi, Tee Wei Wen and Thew Yue Jia