Ex-swimmer Rifda makes waves in gymnastics world
DOHA: When Indonesian gymnast Rifda Irfanaluthfi abandoned her promising swimming career for the more adventurous albeit unpredictable life of a gymnast, she wanted to test proverbial new waters.
The 19-year-old said switching from the pool to the podium was instinctually the best move for her ever-striving character.
“Swimming was really boring for me,” she told www.worldgymdoha18.com at Saturday’s training session. “Gymnastics is interesting because when I get an element, it challenges me to do even more.”
Rifda comes to the 48th FIG Artistic Gymnastics World Championships empowered by her recent accolades.
She won won two medals at the FIG Challenge Cup of Mersin, Turkey, in July, and earned a silver on floor exercise at the 18th Asian Games that her country hosted in Jakarta in August.
Eva Butarbutar, Rifda’s coach, attests to her gymnast’s desire to constantly push boundaries.
“For Rifda, gymnastics is challenging,” Butarbutar said. “When she got the double twist, she wanted to do more, like a two-and-a-half twist. When she got a Tsukahara vault, she wanted to learn more. It’s challenging and interesting for her.”
Aiming to qualify for the floor exercise final, Rifda is ready to rise to an even bigger challenge.
“My goal is to qualify for the Olympic Games, so this goal motivates me to work harder than before,” she said.