Asian Games Doha 2006

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Wednesday, December 06, 2006

Historical moment for Malaysian Shu Wai

It was a really touching moment for Malaysia. Artistic gymnast Ng Shu Wai had blisters on his hands and opted out of the individual all-around finals. And his move paid off handsomely when he vaulted his way into the history books as the first Malaysian to earn an Asian Games medal in gymnastics.

As we said, Shu Wai bagged a silver in the vault final at Aspire Hall 2 yesterday with a average of 16.487.

Actually, it could have been a gold had Shu Wai executed a better first vault. We must consider that Shu Wai was the sixth of the eight gymnasts out to perform the two vaults.

Amazingly, his first attempt, a two-and-a-half twist, was only worth 16.325. But the 21-year-old nailed a podium finish with a superb second attempt, earning the second highest point of 16.650.

Ri Se-gwang gave North Korea their first-ever gymnastics gold medal with a flawless second try of 16.675 for a winning average of 16.625.

Furthermore, Kazakhstan’s Yernar Yerimbetov, who was fourth in vault in the World Championships and the first to start yesterday, took bronze on 16.300.

WE can say that Shu Wai wore a nervous look before the start of the competition but was all smiles after he completed his routines.

“I stepped outside the mat a bit when I landed in the first attempt and it affected my score. But I’m still happy with what I have achieved. It’s still the first medal for Malaysia in gymnastics,” said the Taiping-born lad, who had difficulty getting a coach to train him in China in the run-up to the Asian Games.

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