Tokyo, here I come

KUALA LUMPUR: National men’s artistic gymnast Jeremiah Loo Phay Xing has qualified for Tokyo Olympics next month, which will also be his debut at the prestigious sporting event.

The 23-year-old Penangite said he was incredulous when he received the joyous news, knowing that he will finally make an appearance at the prestigious games he dreamed of since becoming a gymnast.

“I am very thankful and grateful to so many people who made this happen along my journey…helping me to get to this moment, it wouldn’t have been possible without you all,” he said in a video clip to Bernama.

Meanwhile, the Malaysian Gymnastics Federation (MGF) honorary secretary Afrita Ariany Nasril in a statement late last night confirmed the men’s all-around event slot for Jeremiah.

Afrita Ariany said Jeremiah’s success in qualifying for Tokyo was based on the results of his participation in the 2019 World Artistic Gymnastics Championship in Stuttgart, Germany.

With his inclusion, Malaysia has 24 athletes in eight sports including national gymnastics queen Farah Ann Abdul Hadi who will be competing in Tokyo, while several more national athletes are awaiting qualification.

Jeremiah also will be Malaysia’s second male gymnast to make an appearance in the Olympics following the history created by Ng Shu Wai when he qualified for the 2004 Athens Olympics in Greece.

In the 2018 Asian Games in Indonesia, Jeremiah finished 14th in men’s all-around event and was placed sixth in men’s pommel horse event at the 2019 Philippines SEA Games before the Covid-19 pandemic hit which saw him focusing on a shoulder injury recovery process throughout 2020.

The Tokyo Olympics is scheduled to be held from July 23 to Aug 8. – Bernama