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Malaysian gymnast lands uneven bars gold after six years of trying

/ 10:14 AM December 04, 2019

Malaysia’s Farah Ann Abdul Hadi performs on balance beam during the women’s artistic gymnastics competition at the 30th South East Asian Games at the Rizal Memorial Sports Complex in Manila, Philippines on Monday, Dec. 2, 2019. (AP Photo/Aaron Favila)

It had been the gold too far. Not any more.

Farah Ann Abdul Hadi finally won the medal that she had so dearly wanted. The 25-year-old gymnast, who had failed in her attempts to win in the uneven bars at the 2015 and 2017 SEA Games, performed her best routine to get the elusive gold and her sixth in the SEA Games series.

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The closest the pretty lass from Subang Jaya had come before this was when she won the bronze in Singapore four years ago.

Yesterday, she went in focused and scored 12.367 points to win. Her teammate Rachel Yeoh Li Wen won bronze, while Vietnam’s Do Thi Ngoc Huong won silver, even though both scored 11.766 points. The silver was given to Ngoc Huong as she had a higher degree of difficulty in her routine.

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“This is the medal that has eluded me in Singapore and Kuala Lumpur. So, I am very happy to have won it this time. This means the world to me.

“I think the competition was really good. I am very happy Rachel got the bronze. It was tough competition but we just did our best.

Farah still has a chance of winning two more golds as she will be taking part in the floor exercise and balance beam events Wednesday.

“I just want to go out there and perform the best that I can. I like the floor exercise because I can express myself, so that’s one gold that I want.”

She will face an obstacle in the form of Rifda Irfanaluthfi, the Asian Games silver medallist in the floor exercise. However, Farah can take heart from the fact that she is reigning gold medallist for that event.

“I wish Rifda the best of luck. We push each other and that’s only good for the sport.

“A lot of people expect me to win the floor exercise because I am the reigning champion. I just want to tell everyone that I will do my best.”

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Rifda had her gold Tuesday by upsetting Farah’s teammate Tan Ing Yueh, who felt she should have won in the vault.

The 23-year-old Malaysian scored 13.300 to take silver, while the Indonesian scored 13.484.

Rifda failed to land properly in her first vault, and in the second, it looked like she had stepped out of the landing mat outline.

Even Ing Yueh’s coaches Ng Shu Wai and Natalya Sinkova felt she was hard done by and tried to speak to the judges but the result remained.

“I am not really happy, because I had targeted a gold. It’s quite sad. I just have to accept it,” she said.

Ing Yueh hopes to make up for it in the balance beam today.

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TAGS: 2019 SEA Games, Farah Ann Abdul Hadi, gymnastics, Malaysia, Philippines, SEA Games, Sports
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