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Sabah gymnasts continue daily training despite MCO

26th March, 2020


KOTA KINABALU: The enforcement of the Movement Control Order (MCO) nationwide did little to stop Sabah gymnasts from continuing with their daily training albeit that they have to do it at home.

The state artistic gymnastics coach, Liew Tong Ee said they are left with no choice but to find the best alternative to monitor the progress of their athletes who were forced to do their own training at home due to the MCO.

“What we do is we monitor their (athletes) progress through social media platforms such as Whatsapp and etc,” said Tong Ee.

He added that it was important that the athletes maintain their fitness level so that their preparations for the Malaysia Games (Sukma) will not be disrupted.

“With uncertainty facing this year’s Sukma (due to COVID-19 pandemic), it did not stop us from continuing with our training programme because we want the athletes to be ready at all times,” said Tong Ee, who coaches the girls’ artistic gymnastics squad with Zamri Din, when contacted yesterday.

“Our gymnasts now train in their own homes…doing stretching and also physical conditioning.

“We are monitoring their progress through Whatsapp group chat (and video call) together with other (state) coaches and team manager (Marilyn Buseong). In fact, one of the athletes’ parents helped us with her daughter’s training by sending a video recording to me,” he added.

For the record, the 20th edition of Sukma, which was initially scheduled to take place in Johor from July 11-19, has been postponed.

No new date has been fixed but it is likely to be held in December the earliest or in 2021.

Meanwhile, Tong Ee revealed that the state Sukma squad managed to conduct a friendly match against the Indonesian national junior team prior to the MCO.

He said the boys’ team under coaches, Azri Omar and Loy Billy did well to return with six gold, two silver and six bronze medals in the friendly match in Jakarta from March 4-10.

Brandon Denoley Louise led with five gold, one silver and one bronze medal. The gold medals were from Overall, Floor Exercise, Pommel Horse, Roman Rings and Horizontal Bar; silver from Vault; and bronze from the Parallel Bars event.

Jacob Hezron Andreas won the other gold in the Parallel Bars event, while Charlie Richie Chong won one silver (Romans Rings) and three bronzes (Overall, Vault, Horizontal Bar), and Liew Jun Xiang with two bronzes (Floor Exercise, Pommel Horse).

The other members of the boys’ squad are Ammar Zafi Mohd Firdaus and Abd Izzat Daniel.

The girls’ squad comprises Felicity Grace Sew Pei En, Nur Farisha Atiqah Shuaili, Amanda Wong Yeah Chean, Jill Avie Horatio, Cherfie Resie Chong and Natalie Yap.

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