TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — By qualifying for the 2020 Summer Olympics in Tokyo, 16-year-old Ting Hua-tien (丁華恬) has become the first female Taiwanese gymnast to qualify for the Olympics in 51 years.
Ting punched her ticket by achieving a qualifying overall score of 48.398 at the ongoing 2019 World Artistic Gymnastics Championships in Stuttgart, Germany. Ting's achievement makes her the first Taiwanese female gymnast to qualify for the Olympics since Hong Tai-kwai (洪丹桂) and Yu Mai-lee (洪丹桂) competed in the 1968 Summer Olympics in Mexico City.
Ting scored 12.633 on the vault event, 12.433 on the uneven bars event, 11.466 on the balance beam event, and 11.866 on the floor exercise event, finishing 88th in the all-around at the competition, reported the Liberty Times. When she learned that she had qualified for the Olympics, she said, "The moment I found out, I was super happy," reported UDN.
Ting confided that she had earlier thought she had no hope of qualifying after she made a mistake on the balance beam. However, she won some critical points back when she performed well on the uneven bars.
Ting said she admires male Taiwanese gymnast Lee Chih-kai (李智凱), who she has followed as a role model. She said she tries to emulate the "Prince of the Pommel Horse's" nerves of steel.