Wednesday, July 16, 2014

No telling how Malaysian gymnasts will fare in Glasgow

KUALA LUMPUR: National artistic gymnastics coach Nataliya Sinkova believes it’s difficult to predict Malaysia’s chances at next week’s Glasgow Commonwealth Games.

Previously, the Commonwealth countries fielded their second teams and sent their best to the World Championships which were usually held close to the Games.

But this time, the countries are using the Games as part of their build-up to the World Championships in Nanning, China, in October.

England, Australia, Canada and New Zealand have confirmed their first teams to the Games.
England will be led by European champion and double Commonwealth Games medallist Rebecca Downie while Australia have 22-year-old Lauren Mitchell, a four-gold medallist at the last Games in New Delhi in 2010.

“It is going to be interesting in Glasgow this time. Every country is sending the first team, so you have the best of the best competing. It will be a high-level Games,” said Sinkova.

At the 2010 Games, Malaysia finished empty-handed. They finished fourth in the team event for their best result.

This time around, Tracie Ang and Farah-Ann Abdul Hadi will lead the charge along with Tan Ing Yueh, Natasha Ilaya Raymund Jayadev and Nur Eli Elinna Azmi.

“All the teams are making tremendous improvements. In four years, you can see other gymnasts making good progress. Now, India have also stepped up. They have a good potential with (Dipa) Karmakar a strong contender in the vault. She finished in the top eight in New Delhi as well as the pre-Games competition in April,” said Sinkova.

“It’s definitely a very unpredictable competition for honours this time, but we are hoping for the best.”

by Ashreena Pillai - The Star

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