Pole-axed

Pole-axed

He had been training all year for the Asian Games.

But Singapore's top pole vaulter Sean Lim has been forced to withdraw from the Games, which will be held in Incheon, South Korea, from Sept 19 to Oct 4, because of a knee injury.

The 21-year-old, who holds the national record of 5.01 metres, tore his right meniscus in training on Aug 22, two days before he was due to jump at the Singapore Open.

He officially submitted his withdrawal to the Singapore Athletic Association (SAA) on Tuesday.

Speaking to The New Paper yesterday, Lim said: "I just felt it (withdrawing) was the right thing to do.

"I haven't been able to train for the past few weeks, although I've been doing physiotherapy and I'm getting better.

"Also, I felt that even if I recovered on the day of the competition, it wouldn't mean I could jump properly and compete."

The youngster went for a magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scan the day he picked up the injury and was later told he would be out of action for about six weeks.

The men's pole vault final at the Asian Games is scheduled for Sept 28, which will be about five weeks after he sustained the injury.

Said a sad Lim: "The Asian Games was what I was training the whole year for.

"It was supposed to be the highlight of my year."

His coach David Yeo also rued what he felt is a missed opportunity.

Said Yeo: "Realistically, the Asian Games is not a competition where we can vie for the top-three positions.

"But I saw it as a good chance for Sean to gain the experience of high-level competition in preparation for our future targets of the South-east Asia Games (next June) and qualifying for the Olympics.

"I wanted to see him jump a 5.20m or 5.30m at the Asian Games.

"In fact, I was confident he could have done it at the Singapore Open, but then he got injured."

FIRST TIME

Singapore will host the SEA Games next June - the first time the Republic will do so since 1993 - and Yeo is looking on the bright side.

"I'm not too concerned," said the coach.

"This boy (Sean), every time he gets injured, he comes back stronger.

"So I hope he will do it again."

SAA vice-president (training and selection) C Kunalan said: "Sometimes, unfortunately, injuries do happen and, in individual sports, it becomes more pronounced.

"I would look at it in a positive manner. He was trying (to recover in time).

"And in these cases, where we depend on medical advice, he must have been given the impression he could make a recovery.

"We accept his withdrawal and we hope his injury heals well and he can look forward next to the SEA Games."

msazali@sph.com.sg


This article was first published on Sep 11, 2014.
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