“Gymnast genie” Ting Hua-tien turned 17 on Oct. 11, and has just received a belated birthday gift. She has officially been awarded accreditation by the Federation Internationale de Gymnastique (FIG, International Federation of Gymnastics) for a modified gymnastics move, given a “D” level of difficulty and named after her. Ting is the first Taiwanese to have ever achieved this.
There have been previous attempts by Taiwanese gymnasts to have moves they have developed named after them. Lin Hsiang-wei has tried to register the “Lin Hsiang-wei turn” on the pommel horse and “Pommel Horse King” Lee Chih-kai this year also applied. Unfortunately, in the end neither attempt proved successful.
Ting performed her new move for the first time in an international competition at this year’s Artistic Gymnastics World Cup in Melbourne. Since the move was a modified element of a longer routine, Ting was the first person in the world to actually perform it, and coach Tsai Heng-cheng decided to apply for it to be named after Ting before anyone else could do so, so that its level of difficulty could be reflected in the scoring.
Photo: Lin Cheng-kung, Liberty Times
After a long wait, the FIG finally officially announced that the move would be written into the history books as the “Ting Hua-tien move.” Now gymnasts from around the world can start applying the move in their routines in competitions.
According to Tsai, “The Ting Hua-tien routine is an extension of an original move, and I thought she performed it particularly well and that we could use it in international competitions. Then, during the Asian Championships one of the judges suggested that we apply for it to be named after her, and now it has been officially recognized, and become another element for us to include.”
Ting has made a name for herself in Taiwanese gymnastics this year: in addition to having a move named after her, she also qualified in this year’s 2019 World Artistic Gymnastics Championships for the Tokyo Olympics, making her the first Taiwanese female gymnast in 51 years to qualify for the games.
Photo courtesy of Tsai Heng-cheng
(Translated by Paul Cooper, Taipei Times)
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