Gymnast Ashly Lau finishes seventh in Doha World Challenge Cup balance beam event

National gymnast Ashly Lau scored 12.825 points in the balance beam final of the Artistic Gymnastics World Challenge Cup in Doha, Qatar early Saturday morning, finishing a creditable seventh in her first high-level tournament.

The 16-year-old had made history for Singapore when she posted 14.150 in the qualification rounds, a best for the Republic on the apparatus.

The high score meant she qualified for the final in third place, behind two Olympic bronze medallists (team) from gymnastics giants Romania. It also would have been good enough to place the Singaporean sixth at last year's World Championships.

A fall in the final meant her medal hopes were dashed, but the performance in Doha is likely sufficient to help the Raffles Girls' School Secondary 4 student meet the Singapore National Olympic Council's criteria for selection to this year's Commonwealth Games in Glasgow.

Romania's Larisa Andreea Iordache won the balance beam event with a score of 14.850, with Australia's Mary-Anne Monckton in second place (14.700) and Vietnam's Phan Thi Ha Thanh third with 13.875.

Ashly also made the uneven bars final, also finishing seventh with a score of 10.800.

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