TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — The Taiwan women's gymnastics team won a bronze medal at the Artistic Gymnastics Asian Championships 2023 on Friday (June 16).
This marks the first time Taiwan has medaled in the team all-around competition, reported Liberty Times. The team's victory in Singapore qualifies them for a spot at the 2023 World Artistic Gymnastics Championships, which will be held in Antwerp, Belgium, in September.
Liao I-chung competes on uneven bars scoring 12.066. (CNA photo)
This year's women's team is led by head coach Tsai Heng-cheng (蔡恆政) and coach Lin Hsiang-wei (林祥威). The team includes Tokyo 2020 Summer Olympics athlete Ting Hua-tien (丁華恬), as well as Huang Tzu-hsing (黃子星), Lin I-chen (林宜蓁), Liao I-chun (廖奕淳), Lai Pin-ju (賴品儒), and Wu Hsing-fen (吳幸芬).
In the team competition, Taiwan's athletes performed well in vault, uneven bars, balance beam, and floor routine. The team racked up 147.397 points in total, surpassing Kazakhstan's 145.230 points to earn a third-place spot on the medal podium and making team history in the process.
Ting Hua-tien competes in floor routine scoring 12.400. (CNA photo)
Tsai revealed that because the top Asian team, Japan, did not participate, Taiwan had the opportunity to challenge for a medal. Nevertheless, Tsai said that Taiwan's athletes earned the medal by performing at a high level with grace and beauty.
The head coach acknowledged that the Philippines fielded a very strong team this year. He was cited by the newspaper as saying:
"After seeing them compete in the first three events, we felt that it would be very difficult to win a medal, and we were ready to pack up and leave. But the Philippine team made a fatal mistake on the uneven bars at the end, which gave us a chance to stand on the podium."
Lai Pin-ju competes in floor routine scoring 12.433. (CNA photo)
In the individual qualifying competition, 15-year-old Liao I-chun ranked sixth in the floor event with 13.033 points and ninth on the balance beam with 12.666 points.
Because the Chinese team had three athletes ranked in the top eight on the balance beam, only two of its competitors can participate in the finals due to a limit of two per country. Liao qualified for the floor routine and balance beam finals, while Ting Hua-tien grabbed a spot in the uneven bars final.
Athletes and coaches take group photo after winning bronze in team all-around. (CNA photo)