Farah Ann: Olympics can wait, global safety is top priority

National gymnast Farah Ann Abdul Hadi showing off her gold medal won in the All Women’s Finals event at the 2019 SEA Manila Games at the Rizal Memorial Sports Complex in Manila, December 2, 2019. — Bernama pic
National gymnast Farah Ann Abdul Hadi showing off her gold medal won in the All Women’s Finals event at the 2019 SEA Manila Games at the Rizal Memorial Sports Complex in Manila, December 2, 2019. — Bernama pic

KUALA LUMPUR, March 26 — The postponement of the Tokyo 2020 Olympics is heartbreaking for national gymnastics queen, Farah Ann Abdul Hadi as performing at the Games has always been her dream since she was eight.

However, the 25-year-old gymnast praised the decision to push the largest gathering in sporting event until 2021 amid the Covid-19 outbreak, adding that the welfare of athletes and the whole world should be the top priority right now.

“In the light of what is happening right now, it is the right decision for the welfare of all. We need to take these measures to make sure that we are all safe and healthy.

“It is good that the decision has been made and now we can all focus physically and mentally on preparing ourselves for the Games with this new timeline,” she told Bernama today.

After almost qualifying for the 2016 Olympics in Rio, the Tokyo Olympics will be the main focus in her quest to make her Olympic debut.

While feeling a bit “unhappy” with the current situation which has affected her training programme, she said it will only just fuel her spirit to prepare for the Games.

“I was a little upset at first because this whole year was planned out for the Olympics that would happen in July and then it just bounced back and forth of either being postponed or cancelled.

“Now, with this new decision it has only strengthen my resolve to work harder and better for the Olympics in 2021,” she added.

The 2020 Olympic Games is scheduled to be held from July 24 to Aug 9.

Farah Ann earned her slot to Tokyo 2020 Olympics at the World Artistic Gymnastics Championship in Stuttgart, Germany, October last year.

She scored a total of 49,898 points in the individual all-around qualifying event to end the country’s 16-year drought in gymnastics at the Olympics. — Bernama

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