Gymnastics: Aizat hopes to get a jump on rivals

Gymnastics: Aizat hopes to get a jump on rivals
National Gymnast
National Gymnast, Aizat Jufrie, bronze medallist in the Commomwealth Gymnasts Invitational 2014.

SINGAPORE - A piece of metal is hardly the most comfortable item to sleep with but, to Aizat Jufrie, it is the object of sweet dreams.

He won the bronze medal on the vault at the Commonwealth Gymnastics Invitational in Glasgow, Scotland last month.

And he hopes his precious souvenir - which he held as he slept, the night before he returned to Singapore - could mark the start of better things to come.

"It was a really big thing for me to win that medal, especially at that level of competition," said the 18-year-old.

Aizat participated in the Invitational, held from April 25-27, to gain experience and was pleasantly surprised by his podium finish.

It was his first medal in a senior overseas competition, having just transitioned from the junior category this year.

"I didn't expect to win the bronze; the competition was just an eye-opener for me," Aizat admitted. "But when I got into the vault final, I realised I had a chance and went for it. It's a surprise and a good bonus for me."

In a show of dedication to his craft, the Raffles Institution Year 6 student is deferring his A-levels to next year.

This, he hopes, will boost his chances of reaching the vault final at the Commonwealth Games in July as well as qualifying for September's Asian Games in Incheon, South Korea, and next year's SEA Games in Singapore.

"As a student-athlete, studies always come first in Singapore, and it's hard to juggle both at the same time," he said of his decision to put his paper chase on hold temporarily.

The sport also runs in his family - sister Nur Atikah Nabilah, 23, won team gold medals at the 2005 and 2011 SEA Games.

He will be competing alongside 2011 SEA Games pommel horse silver medallist Gabriel Gan, 29, Hoe Wah Toon, 25, Timothy Tay, 21, and Terry Tay, 20, at July's Commonwealth Games in Glasgow.

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