Elaine Koon won four gold in the Malaysia Games in Malacca in June.
MALAYSIA have been struggling to find a top class gymnast since the retirement of Durratun Nashihin Rosli but Elaine Koon has given some fresh hopes in the rhythmic event ahead of the New Delhi Commonwealth Games.
Although Elaine is still not in the same class as Durratun, who won four silver medals in the 2006 Games and was also multiple Sea Games gold medallist, the former has shown plenty of promise.
Elaine secured four gold medals in the Malaysia Games in Malacca in June and followed it up with a clean sweep of six gold medals in the Asean School Games in Kuala Lumpur a month later.
Her encouraging performance prompted the Malaysia Gymnastics Federation (MGF) to send Nur Hidayah Abdul Wahid and her for a one-month training stint in St Petersburg in Russia where they also competed in the World Championships in Moscow which concluded last Sunday.
MGF secretary N. Shamugarajah said the exposure will put them in good stead to compete against top gymnasts from Canada and Australia.
"Elaine has done very well in the Malaysia Games and Asean Schools. She and Nur Hidayah are our medal prospects," said Shanmugarajah.
"They are not in the same class as the established gymnasts in the World Championships but the experience will be very handy in New Delhi.
"Elaine is about the same level as some of the contenders from Canada and Australia. Nur Hidayah also has the ability to surprise with a medal."
MGF has set a two-medal target but if Elaine finds her groove, she should be able to continue her good run this year.
Durratun's four-silver feat may not be achieved but Elaine is only the only gymnast who could get at least a silver in New Delhi.