Malaysia has a new gymnastics star in Rayna Hoh Khai Ling.
The 15-year-old helped her team – Max Whitlock – win a silver at this year’s Youth Olympic Games in Buenos Aires, Argentina yesterday and hopes to win more when the individual apparatus events start.
“This is my first major event for the country and I hope this is the start before I go on to compete in other multisport events such as the SEA Games, Asian Games and Commonwealth Games.
“I hope to perform even better in the individual events and win more medals,” said Hoh, who is coached by former national gymnast Afrita Nasril.
The Malaysia Games champion, who made swept all five gold medals last month for the Federal Territories, scored 15.600 and 15.050 points in the hoop and clubs apparatus respectively in the multidiscipline team event.
For the record, this year’s Youth Olympic Games gymnastics competition has a new format where gymnasts from four disciplines – artistic, rhythmic, trampoline and acrobatic – and different nations are grouped in a team.
Each 13-member team is named after a gymnastics legend such as Simone Biles (United States), Nadia Comaneci (Romania), Alina Kabaeva (Russia) and Whitlock (Britain).
Team Biles won the gold with Team Oksana Chusovitina winning bronze.
Results for the team competition are calculated by adding the ranking obtained by each gymnast within their discipline. The winners will be the team with the lowest total.
Hoh’s 15-plus scores gave her team the edge in the overall standings.
The team event will be followed by individual finals for each of the disciplines.
“I am so happy right now. I did not expect to get such great scores,” said Hoh, who idolises Russian twins Dina and Arina Averina.
Dina is a two-time (2017, 2018) world all-around champion while Arina was runner-up last year.