Lamia Tareq Al Farsi on the podium after winning a bronze at the Novogorsk Winter Rhythmic Gymnastics Cup 2018. Image Credit: Malak Al Farsi

Dubai: The UAE’s Lamia Tariq Al Farsi added yet another feather in her cap with a bronze medal at the Novogorsk Winter Rhythmic Gymnastics Cup 2018 that concluded at the Irina Viner-Usmanova Centre in Moscow late on Friday.

The seven-year-old Lamia, who has earlier won medals in France, Germany and Greece, finished tied in third place with a score of 21.850 points alongside Elizaveta Maksidova to stop a clean sweep by the Russians. Taking the gold was Emilia Vishnyakova with a score of 24.050 points, while Daria Shagunina took silver with 23.600 points.

Lamia performed the freehand and hoop combination in the Category A competition and was adjudged joint third from the 18 athletes who took part. “I am so happy with this result because the rest of the girls were so big and strong. I was nervous and scared seeing them, but once I went on the floor I knew that I would do well as I wanted to make my country proud,” the student from Dubai Youth Olympic School told Gulf News from Moscow.

“At the medals ceremony I was even more happy to see my UAE flag flying. This is something that is hard to describe, but it gave me joy. Now, I have to keep my focus and chase my future goals at the Olympic Games,” she added.

Earlier this year, Lamia had won gold at the Fifth Armonia Cup held in Thessaloniki, Greece, and before that had taken the top spot at the 2017 Open GR Azur International Rhythmic Gymnastics held in Nice, France.

At the medals ceremony I was even more happy to see my UAE flag flying. Now, I have to keep my focus and chase my future goals at the Olympic Games.

- Lamia Tareq Al Farsi » UAE rhythmic gymnast

The championship is held at the Irina Viner-Usmanova Centre of Rhythmic Gymnastics in Moscow every year to give young and upcoming athletes the opportunity for competition before the winter break. This was Lamia’s maiden visit to Russia for this event.

“For me, it is such a huge joy to train a hard-working and talented athlete like Lamia. It is surprising that she shows a tremendous appetite for work and discipline at such a young age and she can only get better,” Lamia’s coach and former Olympic champion Ksenia Dzalaghaniya said.

Lamia is also one of the youngest nominees for the Mohammad Bin Rashid Award for Excellence in the Emirati Athletes’ category this year. The names of the individual winners will be announced at the presentation to be held at the Dubai World Trade Centre in the first half of January 2019.