The national artistic gymnasts and their coaches celebrate after receiving their gold medal in the team event at the Singapore SEA Games on Sunday. - IZZRAFIQ ALIAS/ The STAR
SINGAPORE: Malaysia, you’ve got a dream team!
Jubilation and tears of joy engulfed the women’s artistic gymnastics team as they delivered on their promise to win the gold at the Singapore SEA Games.
Farah Ann Abdul Hadi, Tracie Ang, Tan Ing Yueh, Lavinia Raymund Jayadev, Siti Nur Bahirah Ahmad and Nur Eli Ellina Azmi emerged victorious after compiling 206.200 points at the Bishan Sports Hall.
Singapore took the silver with a 202.500 total while the Philippines amassed 191.400 points for the bronze.
“We did it for our team and our coach Nataliya (Sinkova). It’s her birthday today and we wanted to celebrate it with something special,” said captain Farah.
“I’m just so happy. This is for our coach and my dad (who is the team manager). This is the best team ever and we did it. We brought back the gold,” added Farah, holding back her tears.
Fifteen-year-old Lavinia, who made her debut for Malaysia, said: “This is an amazing team to be part of. Thank you to the coach for including me in the team.”
The last time Malaysia emerged champions was in 2001 in Kuala Lumpur. Sinkova, a Ukrainian, was also the coach then.
“We weren’t talking to each other at all during the competition. It was very tense. We weren’t in contention at the start, but the girls really wanted the gold. To win is a dream come true. This is my dream team,” said Sinkova, who turned 49 on Sunday.
The 21-year-old Farah put on a stellar display to collect 53.250 points to top the individual all-around qualification round. Ing Yueh was the second best Malaysian performer with a 51.400 total. Both have qualified for the individual all-around finals on Monday.
Farah has also qualified for all the four apparatus finals while the 20-year-old Ing Yueh will feature in three finals – floor exercise, vault and uneven bars.
The vault and uneven bars finals will be held on Tuesday while the floor exercise and balance beam finals will take place on Wednesday.
Can Malaysia pull off a bagful of golds?
Sinkova cheekily replied: “It’s a secret. They are my angels, and I trust them."
The Star Online