Monday, February 24, 2014

Sassy Olivia sashays her way to bronze

Malaysian Olivai Tai Qing Tong clinched bronze in the all-around individual event at the 13th Junior Rhythmic Gymnastics Asian Championships on Sunday. -  BRIAN MOH/ The Star
Malaysian Olivai Tai Qing Tong clinched bronze in the all-around individual event at the 13th Junior Rhythmic Gymnastics Asian Championships on Sunday. - BRIAN MOH/ The Star

KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysian Olivai Tai Qing Tong’s sassy display at the 13th Junior Rhythmic Gymnastics Asian Championships was enough to see her clinch bronze in the all-around individual event.

The fifteen-year-old Olivia came out to a cascade of roaring cheers from the gallery at Stadium Putra in Bukit Jalil on Sunday. She returned the favour with a confident performance, scoring 13.75 points (ball), 13.90 (clubs) and 14.05 (hoop) and looked good to land the silver.

However, a mistake in the opening of her ribbon routine proved costly as she could only manage 13.95 for a total of 55.65 points to take the bronze.

Her score was just 0.20 short of silver medallist Anora Davlyatova of Uzbekistan who scored 14.30 (ball), 14.20, (clubs), 13.95 (hoop), 13.40 (ribbon) for a 55.85 total.

The gold went to Kazakhstan’s Yelizaveta Mainovskaya who scored 14.15 (ball), 13.70 (clubs), 14.30 (hoop), 14.10 (ribbon) for a total of 56.25 points.

Shasangari Sivaneswary, the other Malaysian representative, finished ninth with a 53.15 total.
“I’m very happy to deliver the bronze for Malaysia. I hope this is only the beginning,” said Olivia.
Olivia will have a chance to better her medal haul. She has qualified for three individual apparatus finals – the clubs, hoop and ribbon – on Monday. Shasangari will only be competing in the hoop final.

The Malaysian group exercise team of Thew Yue Jia, Chan Mei Thung, Adelina Theresa Mathews, Chai Xin Nong and Yap Sin Lu will also feature in both the ball and clubs finals.
Also in the eight-team final are powerhouses Uzbekistan, Kazakhstan and Japan.

“We’ve achieved our target of qualifying for the final in five out of six events. Our goal tomorrow (today) is to earn medals in the individual apparatus finals and finish in the top six of the group exercise final,” said team manager Dr Farrah-Hani Imran.

“I think if our gymnasts perform to their routines perfectly, we will definitely be on track to achieve our goal. Today, Olivia was in silver medal position after the first three apparatus. So we’re confident we can achieve the target,” she added.


The Star

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