Gymnasts from Malaysia, Thailand and host country Singapore convened at Bishan Sports Hall for the Singapore Open Gymnastics Championships. Photo: Sport Singapore
The vault event at any gymnastics meet is one that makes for amazing pictures. Gymnasts run at the full speed with the cadence of an elite sprinter to give them enough momentum to hurtle through the air whilst contorting their bodies through twists and turns after bouncing off an apparatus made of little more two pieces of wood and some springs.
Doing this requires a certain amount of bravery, a lifetime of training and just enough madness to make things interesting. We saw all these things over the weekend at Bishan Sports Hall as gymnasts from Malaysia, Thailand and host country Singapore convened in their annual homage to the ancient Greek sport.
A gymnast in action during the 12th Singapore Open Gymnastics Championships. Photo: Sport Singapore
First held in 2004, the Singapore Open Gymnastics Championships was developed with the aim of improving the quality of Singaporean gymnast through competition. In 2006, participants from other countries were invited to take part, exposing home-grown gymnasts to an even higher level of competition.
Team Singapore gymnast, Timothy Tay, was in town during a break from his studies in London to take part in the open. “It’s a good way to experience an international competition especially for our juniors,” said Tay.
Team Singapore gymnast Timothy Tay. Photo: Sport Singapore
When asked about his team’s performance at the recent SEA Games, Tay said that the men’s team “fought hard” and it paid off with a bronze medal. He also said the bronze medal was a huge achievement having not won a medal in the men’s artistic gymnastics team event at the SEA Games in recent memory.
“After the Singapore Open I’ll head back to school. But after that the next upcoming big games will be the world championships in Glasgow. Every athlete from around the world will be going there to try to qualify for the Olympics next year,” answered Tay when asked about his plans for the rest of the year.
With his recent SEA Games and Singapore Open experience, Timothy Tay and everyone from the Singapore gymnastics family will hopefully be vaulting their way upwards and forwards in the 2015 World Gymnastics Championships.