Asean Schools Games: Malaysian gymnasts following idols' footsteps

Malaysia's Izzah Amzan performing a routine with clubs. The 17-year-old won the individual and team all-around golds yesterday.
Malaysia's Izzah Amzan performing a routine with clubs. The 17-year-old won the individual and team all-around golds yesterday.ST PHOTO: SEAH KWANG PENG

Russian gymnasts Yana Kudryavtseva as well as twins Dina and Arina Averina have been making waves in the sport in the past year.

Kudryavtseva, 19, won the rhythmic individual all-around silver at last year's Rio Olympics, while the 18-year-old twins swept the four individual golds between them and led Russia to team gold at this year's European championships.

They also won over fans along the way, including Malaysia's Asean Schools Games (ASG) rhythmic gymnastics team.

The Russians would be proud as the Malaysian team comprising Tammy Ng, Chong Lok Yi, Rayna Hoh, and Izzah Amzan combined for a score of 133.353 points to win the team gold at Bishan Sports Hall yesterday.

Izzah, 17, said: "We feel very happy, but we still can't relax because tomorrow will be another day of competition for us."

The individual apparatus finals will be held today.

Singapore - represented by Aiko Tan, Cheryl Lee, Leah Chew, and Jordan Aiswarya Prem - were second with a total of 114.954 points. Thailand (109.871) clinched bronze.

Malaysia's team manager Foong Peik Chow said: "The team were quite prepared for this competition, but of course anything can happen during competitions. They were confident and did a good job."

Izzah and Rayna also ensured a one-two finish for Malaysia in the individual all-around final, with Singapore's Aiko, 15, preventing a Malaysian podium sweep.

"We know all of us can do better, but for now we are happy," added Izzah, who trains eight hours a day, six times a week with her team.

Izzah and Lok Yi, 17, will be competing in next month's SEA Games in Kuala Lumpur. Rayna, 14, will also be looking to qualify for next year's Youth Olympic Games in Buenos Aires, Argentina.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on July 19, 2017, with the headline 'Malaysian gymnasts following idols' footsteps'. Print Edition | Subscribe