SEA Games: Malaysia cry foul over gymnastics judging

By Bernama 7 December 2019 862
SEA Games: Malaysia cry foul over gymnastics judging
The Malaysian Gymnastics Federation (MGF) will file an official protest to the International Gymnastics Federation (FIG) on alleged biased judging and unfair treatment of their athletes at the 30th SEA Games in the Philippines.

MGF president Rachel Lau was fuming over the judging in the rhythmic discipline qualifications on Friday and finals today, saying Malaysia were 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.

"We qualified in first place pretty much in all events yesterday [but] 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 and 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.

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

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

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

Lau 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 Syed Saddiq Syed Abdul Rahman praised the gymnasts for the outstanding performance despite facing many challenges.

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