Malaysian gymnastics team accuse judges at SEA Games of biased behaviour

Amidst the celebration of sports, a controversy has erupted at the SEA Games taking place in the Philippines with judges being accused of bias.

Izzah Amzan
Izzah Amzan in action Twitter

In a major controversy at the South East Asian (SEA) Games, Malaysian Gymnastics Federation (MGF) has claimed that their athletes have been subject to unfair judging. The controversy erupted after the women's hoops events where a competitor from Philippines, Daniela Reggie Dela Pisa, won the gold medal, leaving behind two competitors from Malaysia.

This infuriated the Malaysian squad as they felt that their competitors – Izzah Amzan and Amy Kwan Dict Weng – got lesser points than they deserved. Izzah was given 16.500 score while Amy earned 15.900, lesser than the winner's 17.750.

"It is a very serious case at this point. We have seen a lot of unfairness, inequality and the way they are judging is nonsensical. Amy (Kwan Dict Weng) is Commonwealth Games gold medallist, she was targeted.

Izzah Amzan
Izzah Amzan and Sie Yan with their joint gold medal Twitter

"Understandably, we qualified in first place pretty much in all events yesterday. Today, we lost two golds, which does not make any sense. Traditionally, we are the powerhouse of rhythmic gymnastics at the SEA Games, and I think because of that we are facing a lot of issues. People (are) coming for us," Rachel Lau, president of MGF stated.

She further added: "I want to fight a fair fight, want it to be fair play At this point, I think we have not had fairness and equality. A lot of cheating happened."

Interestingly, this wasn't the only controversy that troubled the Malaysian gymnasts. In another event, Izzah was given the second spot despite her score being the same as the person in the first spot – another Malaysian Sie Yan.

When the team protested, the organisers were forced to postpone the presentation ceremony and eventually accepted their fault. They awarded joint gold to both the gymnasts.

Malaysia's performance in these games has been very impressive. They have been able to capture nine golds in gymnastics – five in artistic code and four in rhythmic.