Malaysian Gymnastics Federation cries foul over SEA Games judging, to file protest to world body

Malaysian gymnast Amy Kwan Dict Weng in action during the ribbon event at the 2019 SEA Games in Manila December 6, 2019. — Bernama pic
Malaysian gymnast Amy Kwan Dict Weng in action during the ribbon event at the 2019 SEA Games in Manila December 6, 2019. — Bernama pic

MANILA, Dec 7 – The Malaysian Gymnastics Federation (MGF) will file an official protest to the International Gymnastics Federation (FIG) on alleged biased judging and unfair treatment of its athletes at the 30th SEA Games here.

MGF president Rachel Lau was fuming over the judging in the rhythmic discipline qualifications yesterday and finals today, saying Malaysia had been denied two gold medals because of questionable scores.

“It is a very serious case at this point; we have seen a lot of unfairness, inequality and the way they are judging is nonsensical. Amy (Kwan Dict Weng) is Commonwealth Games gold medallist; she was targeted.

“Understandably, we qualified in first place pretty much in all events yesterday; today we lost two golds, which does not make any sense. Traditionally, we are the powerhouse of rhythmic gymnastics at the SEA Games, and I think because of that we are facing a lot of issues, people coming for us.

“I want to fight a fair fight, want it to be fair play At this point, I think we have not had fairness and equality. A lot of cheating happened,” she told reporters at the Rizal Memorial Coliseum her today.

In women’s hoops apparatus, Malaysia claimed they were unfairly denied the gold when Izzah Amzan was given 16.500 points and Amy, 15.900 points, for silver and bronze respectively, while Daniela Reggie Dela Pisa of the Philippines took the gold with 17.750 points.

In another controversial decision, Izzah was initially placed second based on the level of difficulty although she collected identical 15.200 points with compatriot Koi Sie Yan, who was adjudged first in the ribbon event.

However, after a protest by Malaysian officials and more than an hour of delay in medal presentation, the organisers agreed to award joint gold medals to Izzah and Sie Yan, while Thailand’s Nat Kulsanawong took the bronze with 14.050 points.

Rachel said she was delighted with the gymnastic squad’s performance as they won nine gold medals — five in artistic and four in rhythmic — exceeding the target of six golds promised to the National Sports Council.

Meanwhile, Youth and Sports Minister Saddiq Syed Abdul Rahman praised the gymnasts for the outstanding performance despite facing many challenges. — Bernama

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