Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Farah hopes to floor her rivals for gold medal

KUALA LUMPUR: If not for artistic gymnastics, winsome Farah Ann Hadi would have been a dancer.
“I love dancing. It enables me to express myself. Maybe that is why the floor exercise is my favourite as it allows me to be creative. I would be over the moon if I could win the gold in my pet event,” she said.

The 17-year-old is keeping her fingers crossed that her catchy movement with a touch of artistry will impress the selectors in the floor exercise routine in her first Games outing. The artistic competiton will be from Nov 12-16 at Palembang.

Striking pose: Farah Ann Abdul Hadi carrying out her floor exercise routine.
Farah is so eager to showcase her talent that she is prepared to juggle the demands of competition with that of her SPM exams.

“I have waited for this moment for a long time. I couldn’t compete earlier because I was too young and when I was ready two years ago, Laos decided not to have artistic gymnastics.

“So although I will be going through the SPM in the midst of the competition, I am primed for action and eager to win gold,” added Farah, whose role model is former SEA Games gold medallist Nurul Fatiha Hamid.
Farah had a turn at the World Championships in Tokyo last month but failed to win a ticket for next year’s London Olympic Games.

“The level of competition was very high and the exposure has given me a lot of confidence going into my first SEA Games,” she said.

“My coach (Natalia Sinkova) has chosen a medley of upbeat music for my floor routine. I hope it will be a captivating performance.”

Besides the floor exercise, Farah will also be competing in the balance beam, vault, uneven bars and individual all-around, all of which require great strength, power and stamina.

Farah, Tracie Ang, Noor Hasleen Fatihin Hassan and Nur Eli Ellina Azmi make up the women’s squad but they will not be contesting the team event because Tracie is carrying an injury.

“It’s a pity because we would have been one of the favourites for the team gold. Unfortunately, Tracie is not fully fit and will be taking part in only one individual event,” lamented Farah.

“This same team finished fourth at last year’s Commonwealth Games in New Delhi. It was Malaysia’s best outing in the Games and we were looking forward to winning gold in Palembang.”

Now that the focus is all on the individual events, Farah said they would have to watch out for the gymnasts from Vietnam as well as Singapore’s 22-year-old Lim Heem Wei, a silver medallist in the balance beam at the Commonwealth Games.

“Heem Wei retired after New Delhi but is making a comeback for the SEA Games. She will be one of the most senior and experienced challengers for honours,” said Farah.

Besides her team-mates and supportive parents, Farah will have another strong cheerleader at the Games in her sister Katrina Ann, who is a member of the synchronised swimming team.
Farah and Katrina will be urging each other on – a golden sister act in the making.


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