Malaysia – Farah Ann Abdul Hadi, the national artistic gymnastics queen, has retired from the sport.
She hailed her incredible adventure in the sport over the previous 25 years as “a ride of a lifetime” when she announced her retirement on Facebook recently.
“A small girl took a leap of faith and entered the chaotic world of gymnastics 25 years ago. I began a quest that would eventually become my biggest love because I was enthralled by the prospect of becoming a gymnast.
“After 25 incredible years in this sport, I am now ready to retire from competitive gymnastics,” she added.
The athlete from Selangor said she was relieved to be able to retire on her own terms after participating in the Tokyo Olympic Games 2020 last year.
The 27-year-old Olympian also used the occasion to express gratitude to the sport and the individuals she met along the journey for all of the beautiful memories, experiences, advice, love, and support she has received.
Despite saying her goodbyes, Farah Ann said that she will always be interested in sports.
“Gymnastics will always remain a part of me since it is my love,” she continued. “Hopefully, I can give back to the sport that has given me so much.”
Farah Ann, who made her national team debut in the 2010 Commonwealth Games in New Delhi, India, is one of Malaysia’s best achievers in the regional SEA Games.
From four editions of the biannual Games, the gymnast won seven golds, two silvers, and three bronzes, with the 2019 Manila SEA Games in the Philippines being her greatest excursion, with three gold medals in the floor exercise, uneven bars, and individual all-around competitions.
Her most significant feat was qualifying for her first Olympics in Tokyo last year, when she came in 68th out of 85 athletes and finished with 48.565 points overall in the qualifying round, missing out on advancing to the women’s all-around final.
She scored 11.600 on the uneven bars, 11.566 on the balancing beam, 12.233 on the floor exercise, and 13.166 on the vault.
Farah Ann’s future with the national team was previously in question after she allegedly skipped three weeks of training and was contemplating retiring.
Afrita Ariani Nasril, the secretary general of the Malaysia Gymnastics Federation (MGF), stated on March 1 that Farah Ann was considering retiring owing to her age and injuries, but that the MGF was willing to talk if she needed assistance.
The MGF has decided to withdraw Farah Ann from the final roster for the SEA Games in Hanoi, Vietnam, in May after she failed to explain her standing with the federation, according to reports.