Monday October 22, 2012
Petrina: Unite to put up good show
By ASHREENA PILLAI
KUALA LUMPUR: Work together and wow us.
That’s the call from Malaysian Gymnastics Federation (MGF) elite and back-up squad co-ordinator Petrina Low (pic) to competing states ahead of Circuit 2 of the SportExcel Gymnastics Championships from Nov 9 to 11.
With only three weeks left before competition, Petrina hopes that the competing states can get together to up the ante and take the competition to a whole new level.
Federal Territory are traditionally strong in rhythmic gymnastics although states like Perak and Selangor are starting to catch up.
Earlier this month, FT showed their prowess by almost making a clean sweep of the Little Gymnast, Grade One and Grade Two categories during the National pre-Junior Rhythmic Gymnastics championships Circuit 1 meet with gymnasts Tan Li Qian (Little Gymnast), Rayna Hoh Khai Ling (Grade One), Koh jei Yi and Wong Kay Lyn (both Grade Two) turning in impressive performances.
FT won the All Round Individual title courtesy of Li Qian, Rayna and Kay Lyn and made a clean sweep of the Team Event titles in all three categories.
Apart from Federal Territory, other states likely to be competing in Circuit 2 are Malacca, Pahang, Perak, Sarawak and Selangor among others.
“The competing states have to work together – that means coaches and judges coming together before a meet as a collective unit to prepare the gymnast and ensure they put on their best routine,” said Petrina.
“The coaches train with the gymnast everyday and so sometimes, minor mistakes might go unnoticed. It’s not their fault, but this is where the judges come in. They can work as a second pair of eyes to spot mistakes and help the coaches perfect minor aspects of the routine to make it flawless,” she added.
Petrina is eager to see further development from the other states especially in selection processes as it would help raise the standard and competition level of rhythmic gymnastics in the country.
Speaking from experience, having conducted selection processes herself, Petrina stressed the need for careful and stringent selection of gymnasts. She said it would be a waste of time if the coaches don’t pick the right gymnasts.
“Selection is very important – it has to be strict. The morphology, the form and structures of the gymnasts’ body is very important. And I can’t stress that enough,” she said.
As an impression sport, body expression counts for everything and criteria such as a small head, a long neck, a short torso and long legs are the fundamental basics needed to excel in this tough sport.
“The knees and toes have to be tight and the body has to be stretched. And so we need to be selecting girls with the right body structure. But of course, nobody is perfect. So what we do need is to find the balance between correct physique and technique,” she added.
States like Perak, in particular, have benefited from improved selection.
“Perak have shown a lot of improvement which in part is due to better selection process. They have some nice gymnasts with good body structure. That’s why they have been putting in strong performances recently.”