After garnering a bronze at the 2022 Hangzhou Asian Games, national gymnast Muhammad Sharul Aimy Mohd Kamaru Hisam is shifting his attention to hunt for a qualifying slot for the 2024 Paris Olympic Games.
The 22-year-old athlete from Terengganu said he will be participating in four Artistic Gymnastics World Cup consecutively in Cairo (Egypt), Cottbus (Germany), Doha (Qatar) and Baku (Azerbaijan) from January to March next year.
The gymnast also known as Sharul Aimy said it is important for him to have podium finish in all four championships to brighten his chances of making his debut at the Olympics.
“I really cannot be taking leave after the Asian Games and would instead focus on training for next year’s World Cup. The world cup tournaments will be the last qualifying opportunities, if not I will have to wait for the folllowing edition.
“I was informed that the National Sport Council (MSN) will only be sending me to participate two World Cup tournaments but I am willing to come out with my own money for the other two tournaments,” he said in a special interview with reporters last night.
Sharul Aimy is now training under coach Ng Shu Liang to raise the level of difficulty from 5.2 to 5.6 in the vault routine to compete with athletes from other countries.
Nonetheless, he conceded that it is not easy as he is still seeking the services of the National Sports Institute (ISN) for a right ankle injury suffered during training for the Hangzhou 2022 Asian Games.
“I should have done that difficulty in Hangzhou, but due to the injury I suffered I could not continue. Now (the injury) is getting better, but I still need to go to ISN and at the same time I am practising the difficulty level, which is to do the double front half,” he said.
Sharul Aimy, however, refused to use the injury as an excuse in the World Cup tournament as he had faced with a worse moment with a broken left leg in 2019.
Looking back on that dark moment, he said he almost gave up pursuing a career in this field but got encouragement and support from his family and people around him.
“At the time of the broken leg, I had just joined the senior team and was preparing for the 2019 Philippine SEA Games, but I made a wrong landing during training. It’s still a phobia, but I’m kind of relieved because I have to do it when I’m an athlete,” he said.
On Sept 29, Sharul Aimy ended the country’s 17-year medal drought in the sport after successfully winning bronze in the men’s vault event at the 2022 Hangzhou Asian Games. — BERNAMA