Malaysian gymnasts Farah Ann Abdul Hadi and Tracie Ang pose with their gold medals in artistic gymnastics at the 2019 SEA Games in Manila December 4, 2019. — Bernama pic
Malaysian gymnasts Farah Ann Abdul Hadi and Tracie Ang pose with their gold medals in artistic gymnastics at the 2019 SEA Games in Manila December 4, 2019. — Bernama pic

MANILA, Dec 4 — National gymnast, Tracie Ang made her first competitive debut at the 2005 SEA Games at the Rizal Memorial Coliseum here, at the age of 12 and won a team bronze.

Ever since, she had given her best to try to win an individual gold in all the SEA Games the sport contested to end up winning numerous team events gold medals and other medals in individual events, but gold remained an unachievable feat.

In her 14-year journey in artistic gymnastics, she had pushed her body hard to deal with many injuries and three major surgeries, in 2014, 2017 and latest on 2018, which also forced her to miss the 2018 Gold Coast Commonwealth Games.

Finally, after all those sacrifices and determinations, the 26-year-old from Melaka finally got in her hands that elusive gold medal, at the same venue she made her debut.

She claimed the gold in the women’s balance beam event, after balancing for a score of 12.867 points.

What made it more amazing was that she performed all the stunts with four titanium screws inside her hand, to help stabilise a fracture sustained last year.

“I am very happy, especially to win gold in this event because recently I felt like the apparatus had been abusing me. Every single week in training, I always hit my head or legs, even here in competition venue,” she said jokingly.

“I had like a phobia, it creates fear of always hitting it Then I told myself that I have been doing it for years and I know I can do it. I think this will be my last SEA Games as my body is breaking up, I think it is enough,” she said.

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However, Tracie will be competing in the Asian Championship next year before retiring from the sports to take a long break and think of future endeavours, or even coaching.

Indonesian Rifda Irfanaluthfi won silver in the event after scoring 12.133 points, Vietnam’s Do Thi Van Aanh took home bronze with 10.367 points, while Malaysia’s Tan Ing Yueh finished fourth with 10.200 points.

Meanwhile, ace gymnast wins her third gold medal in this year’s SEA Games after retaining the women’s floor exercise title with 12.600 points, edging Rifda (12.33) for second and Vietnam’s Tran Doan Quynh Nam (12.033) to second and third place, while Tracie finished fourth with 11.800 points.

As the artistic gymnastics competitions concludes, the Malaysian contingent had swept four golds, a silver and three bronze medals from the total of 10 events contested. — Bernama



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