The euphoria of her three-gold feat at the SEA Games is long over and national gymnast Farah Ann Abdul Hadi now has her mind on the Olympics.
But the incentives for her success in the Philippines keep coming.
The latest was a RM15,000 award from the Selangor government for the pretty belle from Subang Jaya. She received a mock cheque from Selangor Crown Prince Tengku Amir Shah Sultan Sharafuddin Idris Shah at the Dewan Jubli Perak Sultan Abdul Aziz in the Selangor State Secretariat here.
“I am thankful to the state for recognising our efforts. I am proud to represent both the flags – Malaysia and Selangor.
“The year 2019 has been amazing and I’m trying to take it all in. In December, I had some time off with my family and I teared up when the euphoria finally settled in.
“Qualifying for the Olympics, winning the Olympian of the Year award and three golds in Manila – I am grateful and I want to bring this momentum to the new year, the Olympics year.”
The 25-year-old qualified for the Olympics after finishing 59th out of 234 competitors in the individual all-around at the World Championships qualifying in Stuttgart, Germany.
She made the cut by finishing 16th out of 20 gymnasts in the third qualifying criteria.
In the recent SEA Games in Manila, Farah was the star at the Rizal Memorial Stadium, winning three of the five artistic gymnastic golds – in the all-around, floor exercise and uneven bars.
It was her best outing in any SEA Games, since her debut in the 2011 Jakarta Games.
For her Olympic Games preparation, Farah said the training plan was being devised by her coaches Ng Shu Wai and Natalia Sinkova.
She will be taking part in two competitions in March and also the Asian Championships in Tokyo in April.
“I need competitive outings to get ready for the Olympics. The competition schedule is being finalised, and I have been told that training routines have been revised.
“The aim is clear, I want to do my best in the Olympics, which is to surpass my personal best in the all-around event.”
National high jumper Lee Hup Wei was also elated to get RM5,000 from the state government and hopes it will inspire him to get into his third Olympics.
“I will be taking part in the Asian Indoor Tournament in February. That is one of the qualifying competitions for Olympics.
“I’ve been to Beijing and London, now it’s time for Tokyo. I am happy because I have Nauraj (Singh) with me in training and he is a good sparring partner.
“Besides the Asian indoors, I also have some competitions in Europe from April to June. I hope to qualify for the Games from these tournaments.”