SINGAPORE — Team Singapore athletes Kaeson Lim and Terry Tay are unfazed by the star-studded lineup at the upcoming 10th Asian Artistic Gymnastics Championships to be held from June 10-18 at the OCBC Arena, Singapore Sports Hub. Confirming their participation in Singapore are world champion Carlos Yulo from the Philippines, Olympic medallists Lee Chih-kai (Chinese Taipei), Yeo Seo-jeong (South Korea) and Asian champion and World Championship silver medallist Ahmad Abu Al-Soud of Jordan.
Fresh from a silver medal win in the men’s pommel horse event at the 2023 SEA Games in Cambodia, Lim relished the opportunity to compete against the big names in world gymnastics.
“As athletes, we always want to push ourselves and test ourselves against some of the best gymnasts in the world. I am excited to take on the big names of the sport in front of our Singapore fans. It will be a treat for our fans and we hope we can give them something to cheer about,” said the 23-year-old.
Although it was not the best outing in Cambodia for Singapore men’s team captain Tay, he remains hopeful and determined to continue giving his best in upcoming competitions.
“Am thankful for this once in a lifetime opportunity to compete at an inaugural event of such a massive scale in Singapore. It will be a chance to reunite with old friends in the international circuit, make new friends, and most importantly give one’s best and enjoy this experience,” said Tay who was Singapore’s flag-bearer at the 2023 SEA Games in Cambodia.
Tay, who led Singapore to win their first medal (bronze) in the men’s team artistic event in the 2015 SEA Games, added, “Sometimes amidst life’s business I forget to enjoy the process as I usually get caught up in the preparation, or only look forward to the outcome.”
“But this season, despite the curveballs thrown at me, I have been able to enjoy the process which has been fulfilling. Am looking forward to making memories with my teammates who have been training hard alongside me for this competition. The time is now- to let our hard work and fighting spirit shine through.”
Fans will also look forward to the Philippines gymnastics team, who won four golds, two silvers and two bronzes at the 2023 SEA Games. With eyes on the Paris 2024 Olympics, the Philippines will send their best gymnasts to Singapore. Apart from Yulo, a two-time World Championships winner (floor exercise in 2019 and vault in 2021), Aleah Finnegan and Emma Malabuyo will also be the star attractions. Yulo contributed two gold (individual all-around and Parallel bars) and two silvers (team all-around and rings) to the Philippines contingent in Cambodia. Finnegan is also a multiple medal winner at the SEA Games, winning two golds (team all-around and vault) and two silvers (individual all-around and balance beam) at the 2021 SEA Games in Vietnam.
Finnegan and Malabuyo, 20, are now competing for the Philippines, having previously represented the United States. Finnegan was part of Team USA, winning the team gold at the 2019 Pan American Games. Malabuyo, who will debut for the Philippines, has been part of the US national team since 2016 and was an alternate for the 2020 Olympics. The Gymnastics Association of the Philippines has set the team a five-gold target.
The Asian Championships is a key event to the Paris 2024 Olympics. Athletes who want to qualify for the 2024 Games must first do well in the Singapore Asian Championships to earn their slots in this year’s World Championships in Belgium, a qualifier for the Paris Olympics. The top five teams at the Asian Championships will progress to the World Championships.
Ticket sales for the June 10-12 Asian Junior Championships and June 15-18 Asian Senior Championships are available at https://www.2023asianchampionships.sg/ticket-sales/ with tickets for a day pass starting at $15.