Rifda to represent Indonesia in FIG World Championships
JAKARTA, Indonesia: Rifda Irfanaluthfi, who became the first Indonesian women to win a medal at the 18th Asian Games last Friday, will represent her country at the FIG Artistic World Championships in Doha.
The 19-year-old, who tallied 12.750 points, beat Japan’s Shiho Nakaji (12.600) in the women’s floor exercise to win a silver medal in the continental event.
It was quite an achievement by the Indonesian considering the fact the field had China’s most successful gymnast Chen Yile.
“I don't have words to express my feelings. I’m proud of being an Indonesian. It’s the best gift for myself too,” said Rifda, who had spent at a week-long training camp in Qatar before the Games.
Indonesia women’s team coach Eva Butarbutar was on cloud nine after her protégé made history at the JI Expo Auditorium.
“Rifda is a quick learner and she works really hard on her exercises to achieve something, but she wants to do well at the FIG World Championships in Doha,” said Eva, who first trained her in 2010.
A moment after her score was flashed on the giant digital screen, the local fans broke into a huge roar.
It was one of the most spectacular scenes which made everyone emotional including Rifda while the Indonesian Gymnastics Federation (PERSANI) officials hugged each other on her success.
Rifda, who started as a six-year-old, was outstanding at the South East Asian Games last year in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia where she bagged one gold, two silver and three bronze medals.
The success at the Asian Games will boost her confidence before the Worlds which, however, will be a difficult field for her with several top stars vying for honours.
Yet, the chance to compete with the best will help her gain experience for future competitions.