Pain's no problem for SIM fencer Lim
SIM fencer Lim shrugs off back injury to win bronze, eyes another podium finish today
It was all going smoothly for fencer Victoria Ann Lim as she completed the final phase of her preparations for the Asean University Games (AUG).
That was until she strained her lower back while attempting a lunge in a sparring session during training on July 7 - three days before the start of the Games.
The 27-year-old was taken to the accident and emergency department at National University Hospital and had to spend the night there.
Her X-ray showed that there were no fractures but, even after taking muscle relaxants and painkillers, she had difficulty walking when she was discharged the following day. She is scheduled to see a specialist this week for further diagnosis.
"I was very disappointed as the AUG are very important. We are the host nation and everybody on and off the team had put a lot of effort into this," Lim told The New Paper yesterday.
"I felt that I had a duty to fulfil when I was selected for the squad and that was to do my best and win medals for Singapore.
"I also wanted to prove to the other countries that we Singaporeans should not be taken lightly."
The back injury threw her preparations for the AUG into disarray, but the Singapore Institute of Management (SIM) student, who will graduate this year with a degree in psychology, was determined to compete through the pain barrier.
After resting for a few days, Lim received medical clearance to return to training last Tuesday, when she practised her handwork.
She took painkillers and muscle relaxants daily and also had physiotherapy sessions at the athletes village.
Last Thursday, Lim took part in the women's individual epee but lost to Thailand's Wanwi Thathongkueak 15-13 in the semi-finals. Wanwi went on to win the gold.
But Lim then displayed grit and courage to beat teammate Fiona Ip 15-10 to claim the bronze medal.
"I was feeling quite good in the lead-up to the competition until this injury. It really affected my morale and performance," said Lim, who also won a bronze at last year's South-east Asia (SEA) Games.
"Even though I lost (in the semis), given the circumstances, I'm happy with my performance as I tried my best. This year's competition was much stronger as most countries sent their SEA Games medallists.
"This gave me an idea of how the SEA Games competition will be like in Kuala Lumpur next year."
Lim aims to get on the podium again today, when she competes in the foil and sabre team events at the National University of Singapore.
"Some of my movements have been hindered due to the injury, but my coach and I have come up with a game plan that will hopefully work," she said.
"I'm feeling a lot better after the physiotherapy sessions. Hopefully, everything will go well as planned."
Singapore pick up more golds
It was a day to remember for Singapore at the 18th Asean University Games (AUG) yesterday.
The men's table-tennis doubles team of Pang Xue Jie and Kerry Tan beat Thailand's Pitakgulsiri Suchat and Taksin 3-1 in the final to claim the gold at the Nanyang Technological University sports and recreation hall.
The gold is the Republic's first medal in the sport since the AUG were last hosted here 22 years ago.
In fencing, the men's foil's team beat Philippines 45-44 to claim gold at NUS University Town yesterday, while another three gold medals were earned at Marina Channel, after Singapore clinched the top spot in the men's 500m K4, 500m K1 and 500m.
At press time, Thailand lead the medal tally with 36 golds, 25 silvers and 24 bronzes.
Indonesia are second with 26 golds and Vietnam (18 golds) are third. Singapore are fourth with 17 golds, 15 silvers and 18 bronzes. - HARESH KUMAR RAMANI