HANOI, May 19 — The national rhythmic gymnastics squad achieved their target when they swept both the gold medals on offer in the 31st edition of the SEA Games here today.
The Malaysian women produced near-flawless performances to win the individual and team all-around events at the Quan Ngua Gymnasium Centre here.
Malaysia began the day with a 1-2 finish in the individual all-around final as the vastly experienced Koi Sie Yan clinched the gold medal with 109.100 points and Ng Joe Ee settled for silver with 104.900 points.
Labadan Breanna of the Philippines took bronze with 96.650 points.
Sie Yan, who is making her fourth SEA Games appearance since 2015, thus managed to defend the gold medal she won at the 2019 edition in the Philippines.
For the record, Sie Yan has now collected a total of six individual gold medals, the others being the individual all-around in Singapore (2015); the individual all-around, hoop and clubs in Kuala Lumpur (2017); and the ribbon in the Philippines (2019).
In today’s action, Sie Yan scored 25.250 points for hoop, ball (29.850), ribbon (26.600) and clubs (27.400) while Joe Ee had scores of 26.450 for hoop, ball (25.450), ribbon (26.600) and clubs (26.400).
Malaysian rhythmic gymnasts had returned from the Manila SEA Games in the Philippines in 2019 with four gold medals through the team all-around, Izzah Amzan (ball and ribbon) and Sie Yan (ribbon).
At the biennial Games here, Vietnam has only listed two categories for rhythmic gymnastics, namely individual and team all-around.
When met by reporters, Sie Yan said her victory today has fuelled her desire to get a positive result in the Birmingham Commonwealth Games 2022 in July.
The 23-year-old said she was grateful to be able to defend her gold medal at the SEA Games here and dedicated it to her parents and her coach, Lidia Legotina for always supporting and encouraging her.
“I did not feel the pressure when competing in the final compared to during the qualifying round. I only want to do my best and I’m happy to defend the gold medal,” she said.
Meanwhile, in the evening session, Malaysia clinched their second gold medal in the team all-around through Shak Yuki, Ng Jia Wen, Jingle Shak Qi, Yap Yi Tung and Maia Ong Xiao Han after the quintet accumulated 49.200 points.
Thailand (41.550) and Vietnam (37.800) settled for silver and bronze respectively. — Bernama