PETALING JAYA: Farah Ann Abdul Hadi (pic) can thank her lucky stars for her golden outing in the Ukraine International Cup.
The artistic gymnast won in the uneven bar event which was held in Kiev from March 30 to April 1.
But according to coach Ng Shu Wai, she was not supposed to take part in the event.
“Tan Ing Yueh was slotted for the event but after a discussion, we went for Farah.
Farah scored 12.900 to win Malaysia’s first-ever gold in the competition.
“It has been such an amazing experience here in Ukraine. I couldn’t have done it without my amazing coaches Nataliya (Sinkova) and Shu Wai who always push me to do my best and always believe in me,” said Farah.
“My teammates are also incredible, without them I wouldn’t be able to achieve this.”
To cap a memorable outing, Farah also bagged a silver in the floor exercise with 13.200 points.
Farah returns home with one gold, one silver and two bronzes.
Shu Wai was elated and believes Farah has what it takes to do even better.
“I know she can do better than this. It is a good outing for her and we are happy she is starting the year on a high note,” said Shu Wai.
“The girls’ next competition is the Artistic Gymnastics World Cup in Chongqing, China. We want a better outing there for sure but lots of work needs to be done.
“We will refine some of their routines before heading to China. But for their first competition, they have certainly done well,” he added.
Meanwhile, Ing Yueh was also successful in Kiev as she won silvers in the balance beam and all around and bronze for the team event.
And just when many weren’t expecting the men’s gymnasts to get medals they shocked everyone by getting two bronze medals in what proved to be a competitive affair.
Shu Wai’s brother Ng Shu Liang, who coaches the men’s team said he was happy to see Tan Fu Jie winning bronze for pommel horse and Jeremiah Loo Phay Xing garnering bronze for the parallel bar.
“The boys have performed well in this competition. It’s their first competition, and I’m sure it would boost their confidence for future tournaments.
“In Ukraine, the boys competed against 2016 Olympic gold medallist Oleg Verniaiev from Ukraine, a world champion from Israel and a World Cup winner from Turkey in the parallel bar. “Competitive exposure would only improve their performance. We’re going home, and will look to improve the boys before the World Cup.”