New age limit shocking!
Posted on June 3, 2012, Sunday
Sudden change in ruling a huge blow for state gymnasts
KUCHING: Barely two months ago, the age limit for Sukma XV rhythmic gymnastics was still set at Under-21 years old.
In a shock move by the Sukma XV organiser, it was learnt only a week ago that the rhythmic gymnastics age limit was lowered to become an Under-15 affair.
This sudden change in age limit has come as a big blow to Sarawak’s five Sukma-bound athletes aged between 16 and 18 years especially Lydia Wong, who was a bronze medallist in hoop and ball at Sukma XII in Terengganu four years ago.
The other four affected senior gymnasts are 17-year-olds Fiona Lee and Chang Tung Kim, and 16-year-olds Eileen Wong and Low Fai Jun.
“I am very disappointed with the age change because I have been training very hard almost daily since last year,” revealed Lydia to thesundaypost.
However, she is still harbouring hope of competing in Sukma XV and continuing with her daily training at Queen’s Court in Tabuan Jaya.
This is because the Sarawak Gymnastics Association would be filing an appeal to the National Sports Council (MSN) to have the age limit reverted back to the original Under-21 years old.
Eighteen-year-old Lydia is Sarawak’s best medal hopeful as she has gained valuable experienced after taking part in the Terengganu Sukma, national and international level competitions.
In 2009, Lydia represented Malaysia at the Mini Youth Olympics Games in Sydney, Australia and finished a commendable overall fifth in the individual event.
The following year, Lydia helped Malaysia win the team gold at the Asean Schools Rhythmic Gymnastics Championship in Singapore.
In the same championship in 2011, she won bronze in the individual ribbon.
Lydia won four gold medals in the Malaysian Schools Sports Council Rhythmic Gymnastics Championship in Kedah last year.
The golds were won in the ribbon, ball, hoop and individual all-events.