Ng won't use injury as excuse
Singapore's top speed skater says lack of experience cost him the gold medal
At a time when the majority of Team Singapore's athletes were gearing up for the start of their SEA Games campaigns, Singapore's top speed skater Lucas Ng had other worries on his mind.
On Aug 20, a day after the Games opening ceremony had taken place at the Bukit Jalil Stadium, he underwent surgery for a severed tendon in his right hand.
The 28-year-old was injured during training in South Korea just days earlier, when a skater in front of him fell and accidentally slashed his hand.
"Despite the injury and surgery, I started training right after surgery," Ng told reporters yesterday, at the end of the SEA Games short-track speed skating competition at Kuala Lumpur's Empire City Mall.
"I continued pushing as much as I could, and here I am at the SEA Games."
But the golden dream failed to materialise.
Billed as a gold-medal prospect at the sport's debut in the biennial regional Games, Ng could muster only a silver medal in the men's 1,000m, as well as in the 3,000m relay along with teammates Chong Miki, Chua Qi En, Lim Chia Yeh and Lim Jun Hao.
Thai Triphop Thongngam, who won the 500m event on Tuesday, achieved the double yesterday by winning the 1,000m event, with Malaysia's Hazim Shahrum finishing third.
Malaysia won the men's relay, while no bronze medals were awarded because Indonesia were disqualified and Thailand did not finish the race.
Ng was also disqualified in the 500m event for kicking out - an infringement for crossing the finish line incorrectly.
He refused to use his injury as an excuse for his results, instead citing a lack of experience and speed for not winning.
"I wouldn't put that (injury) as an obstacle.
"The injury helped me to focus on what I needed to do better, and also helped me to be more focused during racing," said Ng, who sported a wrist guard during the victory ceremony yesterday.
"I tried not to put the injury as a form of obstacle. I felt I could have been faster and achieved a better result, but it all comes with experience," added the athlete, who uses his left hand during races for balance.
"I need to train harder, get more exposure and overseas competitions. It all falls in place together, not just one factor."
Singapore clinched another two silvers on the ice skating rink yesterday.
Cheyenne Goh, 18, finished second in the women's 1,000m event, behind Malaysia's Anja Chong, who also bagged the 500m title on Tuesday.
In the women's 3,000m relay, Singapore's quintet of Goh, Victoria Chin, Suvian Chua, Danielle Han and Deanna Jacqueline See finished second behind Malaysia, despite Goh falling during the race.
On her stumble, Goh said: "At first, I wasn't sure what happened because I just felt the shift... I looked down and realised that my blade wasn't where it was before. Once I figured that out, I was just compensating."
Han, 27, added: "We definitely learnt to never give up... for a while I think we were like, 'Oh my gosh, what do we do?'.
"We just continued skating and there were some really good overtakes and we came from behind to get a silver.
"We are really very thankful and excited that we got a silver medal. It was a hard-fought race."
Meanwhile, Singapore's divers added a silver and bronze medal yesterday.
At the National Aquatic Centre in Bukit Jalil, the pair of Freida Lim and Myra Lee scored 256.71 points to finish second behind Malaysia (300.36 points) in the women's synchronised 10m platform event.
In the men's synchronised 10m platform event, Singaporean duo Joshua Chong and Jonathan Chan scored 340.50 points to claim the bronze medal.
Malaysia notched 384.12 points to deliver the hosts' 13th gold medal in diving, completing a clean sweep of the diving events.
TEAM SINGAPORE AT THE GAMES
- Men’s ice skating relay team
- Women’s ice skating relay team
- Lucas Ng (men’s short track speed skating)
- Cheyenne Goh (women’s short track speed skating)
- Freida Lim/Myra Lee (diving, women’s synchronised 10m platform)
- Joshua Chong/Jonathan Chan (diving, men’s synchronised 10m platform)