SEA Games 2017, Aug 19-30: 3 days to go

Sze En an injury doubt

 Singapore's Tan Sze En executing her floor routine at the Singapore Open Gymnastics Championships held at the Bishan Sports Hall, on June 5, 2016.
Singapore's Tan Sze En executing her floor routine at the Singapore Open Gymnastics Championships held at the Bishan Sports Hall, on June 5, 2016. ST PHOTO: SEAH KWANG PENG

The women's artistic gymnastics team suffered a blow just 48 hours before they depart for the Kuala Lumpur SEA Games, as Tan Sze En hurt her ankle during a training session yesterday.

The injury has left the 16-year-old in doubt to compete in her maiden Games. If she is forced to withdraw, it will be another round of disappointment for the United States- based gymnast, as she had to miss the last edition on home soil in 2015 because she was too young to meet the event's minimum age of 16.

Sze En is considered a key member of the women's team slated to compete in Kuala Lumpur from Monday, joining Kelsie Muir, Nadine Joy Nathan, Mei Togawa, Colette Chan and Zeng Qiyan.

Should she be ruled out, a replacement is unlikely and it means that the team have less flexibility in deciding which gymnast will compete on which apparatus in the team event.

In the team competition, where Singapore won a silver medal at the last SEA Games, the four best individual scores for each apparatus (floor exercise, uneven bars, balance beam and vault) are counted towards the total score.

Sze En was the all-around champion at last year's Singapore Open Gymnastics Championships, and the former Raffles Girls' School student also won four gold medals at the Asean Schools Games in 2016.

Alvin Chia

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on August 16, 2017, with the headline 'Sze En an injury doubt'. Print Edition | Subscribe