Sasha eyeing more success at SEA Games
Wakeboarding golden girl says she's back to her best after a seven-month injury layoff
Dealing with pressure has become second nature to Sasha Christian since she rose to prominence with her triumph in the wakeboard event at the 2009 Asian Championships.
At the SEA Games in Kuala Lumpur, the 24-year-old Singaporean will be defending her slalom and wakeboard titles in the waterski and wakeboard competition from Aug 25 to 29.
"My goals haven't changed. I'm looking to better my scores and defend my slalom and wakeboard titles," said Christian, who has an Indian father and Chinese mother.
"The expectation is pretty unreal, and there is a whole lot of pressure coming into this.
"But it is all about the mentality, and staying true to the grind every single day."
Christian spent May and June in the United States to train for this SEA Games, and has been keeping a strict routine to get herself into her best possible shape.
She said: "Preparation has been good so far.
"I spent two months in Florida in May and June to get my training back on track. Training has been very progressive, leading up to the Games.
"For now, I waterski four times a week at Bedok Reservoir, wakeboard three times a week at Punggol Marina, and set aside a day every week for gym training at the Singapore Sports Institute.
"We've been working on my technique, as opposed to the results or scores, because conditions like the weather, the boats, or the drivers will always change, but technique is something that you will always have in your control.
"You can't control what other people do, but you can control and perfect your technique. You can't leave it to chance."
Christian suffered an impact fracture on her right tibia last July, and was sidelined till January this year.
It was her longest injury layoff, but she feels she's back to her best now.
She said: "It was not fun, and it was certainly not a great time for me.
"But, I have gone through past injuries before so I was mentally prepared for this one.
"This injury was the longest time off, and I missed out on the Asian Championships last year.
"Seven months off the water was pretty tough, but I constantly kept myself in the game.
"I drove the boat for the rest of the skiers, and I coached them to help keep my mind sharp.
"I didn't feel very away, even when I was on crutches for six weeks.
"But, when I was back on the water, I felt like I was at home."
Christian's immediate target is to achieve glory for Singapore at the SEA Games, and she is keeping her eye firmly on the ball.
Only after the competition is over will she allow herself to eye a bigger prize.
She said: "My focus is on the SEA Games right now. No doubt about it.
"The Wakeboard World Championships will be next for me."