National gymnastics stars Farah Ann Abdul Hadi and Tan Ing Yueh gave the women’s artistic gymnastic squad a glittering start to the 30th SEA Games by claiming gold and bronze respectively in the all-around event on Monday.
Farah, energised by loud cheers from the spectators at the Rizal Memorial Coliseum, topped the field with 48.05 points in total for all four routines.
The 25-year-old, who would compete at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics, started well by collecting 13.55 points in vault and 12.45 points in uneven bar, but was shaky in balance beam to score only 9.550.
However, she mesmerised everyone with her moves in floor exercise to score 12.50 points to bag her first SEA Games gold in the all-around event, which was also her 10th all-time medal at the regional meet.
Indonesia's Rifda Irfanaluthfi claimed silver with 47.80 points in total, followed closely by Tan with 46.90 points to complete a double podium finish for the country.
Speaking to reporters after the medal presentation ceremony, Farah said the gold medal was special as she had been dreaming of this feat for a long time.
"Every time I come into competitions, I just want to do my routine, do the very best I could and avoid mistakes.
"The crowd here is amazing; the Filipino people are nice, [I’m] very happy and glad to get their support.
"After I got to balance beam and fell in my first routine, I got a bit nervous. I was trying to not make major mistakes because the marks will be a lot lower than what I would want to have.
"After that I just wanted to go out on the floor and enjoy my routine because it is a competition and anything can happen.
"For the upcoming events, I think it is 50-50. I am very happy today and wanted to do my very best," she said.
Her next involvements are in the women’s individual vault and uneven bar events on Tuesday.
Farah won four gold medals in team and floor exercise events at Singapore 2015 and Kuala Lumpur 2017.
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