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Lamia Tariq Malallah Al Farsi bags gymnastics gold in France

Mum thrilled as six-year-old Dubai girl battles injury and illness to win at Open GR Azur

Dubai: Young Emirati gymnast Lamia Tariq Malallah Al Farsi battled a painful knee injury and a bout of vomiting to pick up a gold medal in the Senior B Category at the 2017 Open GR Azur International Rhythmic Gymnastics Tournament that concluded in Nice, France, on Sunday.

Lamia, who had been vomiting since early Sunday, had been further handicapped with a troublesome knee that she had injured earlier during training. But the diminutive gymnast from the UAE topped despite participating in a higher age category.

“We just couldn’t believe it when Lamia performed without a single mistake during competition. She has shown true guts to keep aside her illness while focusing only on the competition,” Lamia’s mother Malak told Gulf News from the French Riveira.

“Her category got even more tough after organisers decided that Lamia should compete in a higher class of competition. But she was like a lioness despite knowing that some of the best gymnasts from Russia and Kazakhstan were also taking part. All credit goes to her,” she added.

Lamia has been in the limelight the past year after doing well at domestic rhythmic gymnastic competitions held in the UAE. In May, the student from the Dubai Youth Olympic School, trained by former world champion Ksenia Dzalaghaniya, won a gold medal at the inaugural Dubai International Junior Rhythmic Gymnastics Championships held at the Al Habtoor Indoor Complex.

“There are no words to describe how Lamia has been pushing the limits. She is quiet and composed and just goes about what she has to do to ensure she is always at the top,” Malak said.

The six-year-old, whose father was a former professional footballer with Al Ahli Club, will now stay on in France and attend a training camp to be held by four-time French individual rhythmic gymnast Kseniya Moustafaeva.

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