Saturday August 11, 2012
Eye-opening China trip for gymnasts
By NG WEI LOON
IT WAS an educational trip for budding rhythmic gymnasts from the Klang Valley-based Total Gymnastique club at the inaugural Zhong Ling Club meet at Liuzhou, China recently.
Besides competing against their peers in the three-day competition, the club’s co-owner Mike Ng said their trainees gained valuable experience attending the camp under the care of six experienced coaches from Russia after the competition.
Former multiple European and world champion Olga Kapranova was part of the coaching team, sharing her knowledge with the keen young learners over the five-day training stint.
“It was tough for our girls going through the paces under the watchful eyes of the foreign coaches. The exposure was an eye-opener for them.
“They realised that they need to be more explosive and flexible for improvement. They have also picked up interesting conditioning techniques.
“We will be incorporating the new ideas to strengthen our training programmes. We are going to set a new benchmark and attempt to apply fresh methods here,” said Mike, who also served as the club’s team manager at the recent competition.
The 28-year-old Zhong Ling was rated as one of the most successful rhythmic gymnasts produced by China and her impressive achievements include bagging two gold medals at the Busan Asian Games in 2002. The illustrious former gymnast ventured into setting up her training centre in 2009.
In the recent international outing, Total Gymnastique fielded six competitors in various categories.
And the club’s plucky trainee Tee Wei Wen continued to shine emerging as the Pre-Junior A overall winner decided over four disciplines comprising hoop, ball, freehand and ribbon.
En route to victory, the SJK (C) Yuk Chai Year Six pupil was also the top performer in the ball (18.40 points) and ribbon (18.25 points).
She also finished fourth in the freehand (18.30 points) and fifth in the hoop (18.00 points).
“She was not among the frontrunners in her favourite freehand event because she attempted a lower difficulty routine. She was spot on with her polished execution and was on par with the others on the artistry aspect,” said Mike.
Wei Wen accumulated a total of 54.95 points to finish ahead of Thailand’s Jitrtiva Munpolsri of Sattra Gym.
Jitrtiva only took part in three — hoop, freehand and ribbon — events to chalk up 52.00 points while her team mate Sirinthra Saimongkol came in third (48.35 points) in the overall standings.
Among the competitors under the Total Gymnastique banner were Georgia Wong and Chloe Wong (Pre-Junior B); Leong Yin Kuan (Pre-Junior A); and Chia Xue Wen and Trisha Wong (Junior B).
Georgia complemented her victory in the ball (17.75 points) by securing the third spot in hoop (17.55 points) and freehand (18.10 points) for third overall (35.85 points) in Pre-Junior B section.
Xue Wen settled for second (62.75 points) in the individual all-round of the Junior B contest behind eventual winner Vlasova Daria (91.05 points) from Russia.
Although she did not make an impact in the ball and clubs events, Xue Wen completed her campaign with respectable performances finishing second in the hoop as well as third in the ribbon.
In addition, gymnasts from Malaysia’s Serdang Rhythmic Angels also joined the fray in the competition.
Mike said they will be lining up another outing featuring at the Senachai Gym’s competition in Thailand at the end of the year.