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Playing through pain

KUALA LUMPUR – Gymnast Kaitlin de Guzman may have to see a specialist to examine her right hip that has been bothering her since May, according to her mother, Tammy.

“She has been playing through pain the whole time,” Tammy disclosed, the day after Kaitlin won the gold medal in the women’s uneven bars in the 29th Southeast Asian Games.

“We’re just managing it through therapy,” said Tammy, herself a SEAG gold medalist in 1995.

This is one reason why Tammy said she tried to stop Kaitlin from getting into gymnastics.

“Ayokong maranasan niya yung hirap na dinanas namin. But then, ayaw paawat,” she said.

Kaitlin said she wanted to become a gymnast because she idolizes her mother.

“I saw her photos. I wanted to become like her,” said the 17-year-old rookie.

Asked about how she copes with the pain, Kaitlin smiled and said: “I’m Wolverine!”

Tammy said the routine Kaitlin performed to win the gold medal was similar to what she did 22 years ago.

“May kaunting pagkakaiba lang, although the degree of difficulty I did was a little higher,” said Tammy, adding that the scoring system is no longer the same as before.

Tammy said a perfect performance before merits a 10.

“Ngayon, hiwalay na. Ten for execution and five for the degree of difficulty,” she explained.

Tammy said the degree of difficulty of Kaitlin’s routine was 4.3 as opposed to the 5 that Malaysian rival Tracie Ang performed.

“Initially, we wanted 4.6 sana, but we had to lower it because of her condition,” said Tammy.

As luck would have it, the Malaysian fell during her routine, an automatic deduction of 1 point.

Kaitlin, who went through the routine cleanly, earned 12.875 while Ang did 12.550.