Gradually returning to top form after a series of injuries, veteran Malaysian gymnast Tracie Ang is optimistic that she can match her performances from four years ago when she competes at the Commonwealth Games later this month in Glasgow.
Ang placed ninth all-around, sixth on vault and eighth on floor exercise at the 2010 Games in Delhi, where she helped Malaysia finish fourth in the team competition. Recent rehab is likely to limit her in Glasgow, but she still hopes for strong results. In this IG Online interview, Ang assesses the state of her recovery and her potential for success at the Games.
IG: What kind of condition are you in, heading toward Glasgow?
TA: I was in rehab last year for six months because I've been having several old injuries on my shoulder, hamstring, hip and ankles. This year, in early February, I started training after I was released from rehab. At almost the end of April, I suffered back pain which added to the list. So I returned for rehab again. In a month and a half I was released again from rehab and started light training. Currently I'm getting back on track. I'm doing great but still under treatments.
Tracie Ang (Malyasia)
IG: Four years ago you finished ninth all-around, and made two apparatus finals. What are your targets for Glasgow, in terms of your all-around and apparatus aspirations?
TA: For my current situation, I'll probably pick certain events to compete due to my body condition. They will be the most suitable and comfortable events for my body to perform well, as I was given only this short time to recover and prepare for the Games. My main target is focusing for the apparatus finals. As I said earlier, if I were to compete in all events during the qualifying, I would definitely be targeting to place better than the ninth spot. For the final events, I'm targeting to be in the finals on bars and balance beam, for which I did not qualify at the last Commonwealth Games in Delhi.
IG: In Delhi you led Malaysia to fourth place in the team standings. What do you think of the 2014 team, in terms of staying fourth and/or moving up?
TA: For the team event this year, the Malaysian team members are mostly competing at their first Commonwealth Games. It is a tough one this year, as we have heard that many of the top countries bringing their top gymnasts to compete. I will probably not be competing in all events, so I could not help much in the team event. We are focusing on achieving the points we want, and with good results, there are chances for our team.
IG: You have had a lot of competitive experience since Delhi, so how does your mental approach to Glasgow differ from your mental approach to Delhi?
TA: In Delhi, it was really a strong competitive competition. I was excited as it was my first time competing in such big games. I was not nervous. Qualifying for the vault and floor exercise finals was a shock for me, as my higher chances are for bars and balance beam. It was not my personal best in Delhi. This competition really gives me fully mental preparation to compete in Glasgow.
As this is my second Commonwealth Games, it should be better this time due to my experience in Delhi. These four years really make a lot of differences in terms of my performance. I perform better, but that lot of old injuries is haunting for me. Most importantly I'm trying to avoid all these injuries and be fit for the competition.
IG: How would you like to use Glasgow as a test for big events coming up later this year, such as the Asian Games and world championships?
TA: The Commonwealth Games are a big event for me. Asian Games and worlds will be confirmed later. So the main focus now is in Glasgow.
Read a profile on Ang in the March 2011 issue of International Gymnast magazine. To order back issues, or subscribe to the digital and/or printed edition, click here.