Farah Ann Abdul Hadi became the first Malaysian artistic woman gymnast to qualify for the Olympics in 20 years when she qualified for the Tokyo Olympics. She was on Prestige Malaysia‘s February 2020 cover.
This must be a difficult time for you. How are you coping?
I believe that this is a difficult time for all of us. I am at home with my family which I feel very blessed to be able to do so. I am filling my days with cleaning, working out, organising, reading and online classes. Some days have been difficult but I have been trying to stay as positive as I can be.
News that the Olympics is postponed must have been difficult for you. How did you respond to the news?
When I first heard about the news, I was a little upset due to the fact that this whole year had been planned out for the Olympics, which was to be held in July-August. However, after taking some time to think, it is the best outcome to have the games postponed for the safety and health of everyone involved. It has also allowed for some stress to be lifted and now I can focus on a new programme and train hard for the Olympics in 2021.
What is your training regime now, mentally and physically?
Now, I do home workouts. My training programme is given to me via a meeting that we have every day with my coaches and teammates. I also receive a training programme from my trainer. My workouts range from 2 and 2.5 hours a day. Mentally I will do my routines visually in my head, plus I also try my best to have positive thoughts and positive self-talks.
What have you learnt from this challenging situation that everyone is facing?
I’ve learnt the value of time spent together and also everyday life. It is also important to live day by day and try to have a productive day. This can be from working out to having a day for yourself. Our lives can be very fast paced and this is the time that we can reflect on what we want in our lives.
Do you have any advice for Malaysians?
This has been a very difficult time for many people. We must all work together, as we all have our own jobs to do. We have to stay home, be hygienic and think of others. In order to structure my days, and feel more in control of my situation. I have a daily to-do list that I write down. If you can, do a simple workout or a task or hobby that you’ve been wanting to do. Most importantly, please be safe, stay home, only go out when it is an absolute necessity and follow the rules that have been set for everyone’s safety. We can all do this together.
Mohamad Ridzuan Puzi won the gold medal at the 2016 Rio Paralympics 100m, T36 category and is the current world record holder of the said category. He was part of Prestige Malaysia‘s 2019 40 under 40.
How do you feel about the postponement of the Paralympics?
I feel sad but I expected it as the pandemic has affected many lives. As long as everyone is safe, it is a good decision. My goal is still the same – to train hard and to do my best for my country.
How has the Movement Control Order affected your training schedule?
Before the MCO, I train six days a week in both the gym and the track. Now there is no track training and no gym for me to use, but I still work out every day at home following my coach’s instruction.
Any advice that you would like to share?
Don’t take things for granted. Appreciate the people around you and the little things.
Jazeman Jaafar is a former Formula BMW champion and sits on the board of the Sepang International Circuit. He was part of Prestige Malaysia‘s 2017 40 under 40.
How has the MCO affected your season?
I made an announcement earlier to enter the Super GT. It is a premier grand tourer racing car championship originated from Japan. It is supposed to be held in Malaysia in July. I was also due to announce another racing programme, but because of this pandemic, things have been postponed. Everything is up in the air at the moment.
How do you feel about the uncertainty?
I feel frustrated because I have spent quite a few months preparing fitness, finding sponsors. Now everything is on hold. But we have to move on and adapt to new situations.
When will you know if the season will resume?
From the championship’s point of view, you have to work with the authorities. It requires 14 cars and the personnel, engineers and so on. It is a complex process to organise an event. On the Sepang side, of which I am on the board, we are also trying to accomodate race organisers. I think the direction will be to host closed-door events in the coming months but we will see how it goes.
How do you train or practise during these times?
Luckily I have a box of gym equipment at home such as pulleys, rubber bands and weights. I have been adapting to different training programmes and modules online. It is effective but nothing like training with actual facilities. I am actually one of the few guys who don’t have a racing simulator at home. I can spend hours on it but I struggle to have some sort of feel because with real racing cars, you experience G forces, adapt to the grid and weather. Even though I don’t have a simulator, I am involved in promoting and partnering with simulation tournaments.