Gymnast hardest hit by Myanmar pullout
MANILA, Philippines - Filipino gymnasts, who are seeking a breakout year under a Romanian coach, are disheartened by Myanmar’s decision to scratch gymnastics from the coming Southeast Asian Games calendar.
According to Gymnastics Association of the Philippines (GAP) president Cynthia Carrion, the athletes are very much looking forward to the SEA Games to showcase the progress they’ve gained the last two years. The GAP has hired Romanian mentor Luminita Eftimius last year and has enlisted Fil-Am talents in men’s artistic gymnastics.
“The morale of our athletes is very low. We trained long and hard for this competition, we have an all-out preparation throughout the year, then suddenly we will be told that we’re not going to compete. It’s really unfair,” said Carrion.
The Burmese have delisted a number of Olympic sports, including gymnastics, and in their place listed some indigenous games in an apparent effort to boost their standing in the medal race.
“Gymnastics is an Olympic sport. We deserve to be there,” said Carrion.
The GAP chief said that with the SEAG out of the equation, the association will shift its focus on a competition in Singapore as well as a pre-SEAG tournament that Myanmar’s gymnastics federation is planning, to prove their worth.