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Last bid for Malaysian gymnast

13 Feb 06 21:53

Malaysian rhythmic gymnast Chrystal Lim will make a last-ditch effort this week to win a place in her country’s team for the Melbourne Commonwealth Games.

18-year-old Chrystal, part of the gold medal winning Malaysian team at December’s South-East Asian Games in Manila, was not named in the initial squad selected for the Games alongside her three team mates.

With only three rhythmic gymnasts allowed for the Games, the Malaysian Gymnastics Federation had earlier submitted the names of Foong Seow Ting, Durratun Nashihin Roslin and See Hui Yee for the team.

But Chrystal will have the opportunity to make the final team by finishing among the top three gymnasts in a “control test” at the Bukit Jalil Gymnasium this week.

The Malaysian Games Federation had originally planned to name its team after an event in Moscow in early March, but Secretary N. Shanugarajah said that would have broken the 15 February deadline for naming the team.

“The plan was to name the rhythmic gymnasts after the Moscow Grand Prix. But we are now aware of the rules. We will decide the team a day before the deadline,” he told Malaysia’s Star newspaper. 

“The Moscow meet, however, will be a good warm-up for those selected for the Games.” 

A country cannot change the name of an athlete after the deadline, unless there is an injury, and only then with the permission of organisers.

MGF secretary N. Shanmugarajah said that the “control test” on Tuesday would decide the final team.

The Malaysian Rhythmic Gymanstics team dominated competition in Manila, with Seow Ting winning the team, individual all-around, clubs and ribbon events, outperforming national champion Durratun.

Malaysia performed strongly in front of its home crowd in Kuala Lumpur when Rhythmic Gymnastics was last included in the Games schedule in 1998, taking home gold in the Team Event despite strong individual performances from the Canadians.

Six gold medals will be on offer in Rhythmic Gymnastics in Melbourne, which will take place at the Rod Laver Arena from the 24 – 26 March.

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