For more than two months, national gymnast Farah Ann Abdul Hadi (pic) has not gone to her “second home” – the Gymnasium Three – at the National Sports Council in Bukit Jalil.
And the 26-year-old is hopeful of returning home soon to a place where she trains almost four hours everyday with her teammates – before Covid -19 pandemic interrupted the schedule.
For the present, training remains at home unless the Youth and Sports ministry’s plan for athletes who have qualified for the Tokyo Olympics to train at the gym in the first week of June after the Hari Raya celebrations, is approved.
“I think as an athlete, I am very excited to get back to training because it has been a long time since I have actually been to the gymnasium, ” said Farah, who won three gold medals in the Philippines SEA Games in 2019.
“I think there are a lot of things to consider before we return to training. Hopefully, things return to normal to enable us to train at the gym again.”
Farah, who has always emphasised on training with her teammates to boost camaraderie, said everyone involved are trying to figure out a way for them to prepare together.
“The safety of all is essential. Obviously my coaches, the MSN (National Sports Council) and ISN (National Sports Institute) are doing their very best to make sure that we are all safe and healthy right now. They give us training guidelines and hopefully plan for us to train together.”
The Covid-19 outbreak saw many sport competitions postponed or cancelled and it has also forced Farah to defer her Olympic preparations by a year. She was mentally affected when it was announced that the Olympics would be postponed (to July 23-Aug 8 2021), but have found ways to keep herself calm.
“At first I was upset, but now I realise I have more time to prepare, more time to train on my new skills and plan for better performances next year. And this line of thought has given me a positive outlook.”
Recently, she had a live session with Nicol David on Instagram and cherished every moment with the former world number one squash player.
“Nicol is a good friend of mine, and I am incredibly honoured that we got to talk online. She is a big inspiration. It’s always nice speaking to her and listening to what she had been up to and her feelings on the current pandemic issues.”