VIDEO: Pandemic fails to dampen Lamia’s spirit - GulfToday

VIDEO: Pandemic fails to dampen Lamia’s spirit


Lamia Tariq Malallah Al Farsi during a training session at her residence.

Amir Naqvi, Sports Editor

The outbreak of novel coronavirus has caused significant disruption across the globe and the ramifications have left the sports world in a flux as well. In the wake of the pandemic, events – including major international competitions – have been cancelled, rescheduled or postponed.

But athletes around the world continue to train and adopt new ways to stay fit despite the uncertainty surrounding the sporting seasons.

Hopeful of taking part in Youth Olympic Games 2026, which was due to be held in Senegal in 2022 and have been postponed for four years, the UAE’s little wonder Lamia Tariq Malallah Al Farsi continued training during the lockdown period alongside restrictions placed in the Emirate of Dubai.

With the training facilities closed for more than three months as part of government measures to contain the spread of the coronavirus, the youngest gymnast of the country turned her home majlis into a fitness studio.

“It was disappointing, but given the unprecedented circumstances facing the world at present, it’s totally understandable and expected,” said Lamia.

The nine-year-old, who is a student of the International School of Choueifat in Dubai, made the most of her house majlis.

“I wanted to keep fit and be ready when the time came for competitions. And was training everyday from home using online applications under the supervision of my coaches from Dubai Youth Olympic School of Rhythmic Gymnastics,” she said.

“This is very different from training at the Dubai Youth Olympic School of Rhythmic Gymnastics, where we have the necessary equipment, but fortunately my coaches were very proactive in having created a programme suitable for training within a small space where I got to learn more about different apparatuses and concentrate more on strength, flexibility and stamina.” Fortunately for Tariq Malallah Al Farsi’s family, the lockdown restrictions have been eased and Lamia has started her regular daily practice sessions after accidentally breaking the chandeliers during a training session at home.

After taking to rhythmic gymnastics at the tender age of five, Lamia never looked back and went on to win six international gold medals besides dominating local championships.

Lamia, whose first gold medal came at the age of six when she won the inaugural Dubai International Junior Rhythmic Gymnastics Championships in 2017, says the positive in this situation for me is that I will get more time to hone my skills and preparation needed to focused fully on my dream to win the Youth Olympic Games gold.

The youngest recipient of the coveted Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum Creative Sports Award in local category in Creative Sport in 2019, Lamia bagged top honours at the International Rhythmic Gymnastics Youth Cup in Tashkent, Uzbekistan, last year.

Training under accomplished World Champion Ksenia Dzhalaganiya of Dubai Youth Olympic School of Rhythmic Gymnastics, the Dubai girl refuses to rest on her past accolades.

“My biggest dream is to win medals for UAE at the Youth Olympic Games. Despite the difficult times, I continued training through online guidance from my coach Dzhalaganiya,” she added.

Lamia also won gold medals at the 2017 Open GR Azur International in Nice, France, and at the 2018 Armonia Cup.

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