APART from qualifying for her maiden Olympics Games, artistic gymnast, Farah Ann Abdul Hadi will return from the World Championships in Stuttgart, Germany, with some invaluable experience.
On Saturday, the 25-year-old became the first Malaysian women's gymnast to qualify for the Games after 20 years, when she finished 16th out of 20 in the qualifying session of the individual all-around event.
Overall, Farah finished 59th, followed by teammates Tan Ing Yueh (91st) and Tracie Ang (108th).
Farah is only the third Malaysian artistic gymnast to qualify for the Olympics after Au Li Yen in 2000 (Sydney), and her current coach, Ng Shu Wai in 2004 (Athens).
Farah told Timesport it is never easy for Malaysian gymnasts to qualify for the Olympic Games because of the high standards in the sport.
She knows how hard it is and she has suffered heartbreak too. In 2016, the Selangor-born missed out on a qualification spot at the Rio Games by a mere two points.
“The Olympics is the highest level. The gymnasts from the top countries will want to go and compete.
“It's never easy going up against these athletes with such high standards,” she said.
“We can only give our best in competitions like this. It’s very important for us to stay focused.
“It has not been an easy journey for me to get here. So, it means the world to me to have qualified for my first Olympics,” added Farah, who took to social media to thank all her coaches, the sports ministry, the National Sports Council, as well as her family and friends who have stood by her all these years.
Farah, who has been with the national squad since 2010, pointed out that it has been her dream since she was eight years old to compete in the Olympics.
Now that her mission is accomplished at the world meet in Germany, Farah will be shifting her focus to the Philippines Sea Games in December.
At the 2017 Sea Games in Kuala Lumpur, Farah inspired the national squad to three gold medals. She, herself, won two in the team all-around and floor discipline.
For the coming Sea Games, the NSC have set a target of one gold medal for the Malaysian Gymnastics Federation.
Source: News Straits Times