NATIONAL junior rhythmic gymnast Elaine Koon has been ruled out of the Malaysia Games (Sukma) in Terengganu from May 31 to June 9.
Earlier, the Selangor Gymnastics Association (SAGA) considered Koon as their brightest hope to challenge for a gold medal especially in the individual ribbon event.
SAGA president Kula Chelliah confirmed Koon is down with a back injury and would not feature for Selangor.
“We will definitely miss her service. Although she is not carrying a serious injury, the doctor has advised her not to compete in Sukma. For the time being, she is just undergoing light training,” he added.
After facing a minor setback to announce their top four gymnasts, another national junior gymnast Low Joon Mae requested for exemption from the control testing conducted at Bukit Jalil in Kuala Lumpur last week. SAGA then named the top three performers from the recent assessment to shoulder their challenge at the biennial Games.
The trio are Au Wei Ran, Amy Kwan Dict Weng and Loh Chooi Shawn.
Au, who is the youngest in the pack, took the top spot in the individual all-around which was decided over four events.
However, Low still has a chance to make the squad.
Following the MRI (magnetic resonance imaging) scan to determine Low's condition on Thursday, the medical experts have suggested that she is fit to compete.
“She (Low) has to go through a series of tests to earn her place in the team,” said Kula. At the previous Sukma in Kedah two years ago, Selangor swept five of the six gold medals at stake.
Then, Yap Li Ya emerged as the Selangor's best performer claiming the individual all-around and team titles.
Two other Selangor gymnasts – Nurhidayah Abdul Wahid and Yong Soo Yee – were also instrumental in achieving the feat.
Elaine Tan of Kuala Lumpur spoilt Selangor's party and prevented their domination with her win in the individual rope event.
However, Selangor realised they will be facing a stiffer competition against more established gymnasts from Kuala Lumpur to repeat a good run at the upcoming Games.
“In the worst case scenario, we will just field the three gymnasts for the Games. Even without Elaine (Koon), we are hoping to do well. The best gymnasts available are still good enough to be among the medal contenders,” Kula added.