Sock Khim gives up world ap­pear­ance

New Straits Times - - Sport -

AN in­jury-prone Ng Sock Khim has de­cided to forgo her dream of play­ing in the World Ta­ble Ten­nis Cham­pi­onships which start to­day in Dus­sel­dorf, Ger­many.

This is to en­able her to be bet­ter pre­pared for the Kuala Lumpur Sea Games in Au­gust.

The 33-year-old fears that her par­tic­i­pa­tion in the world meet might put her at risk of in­jur­ing her knee and el­bow.

Sock Khim has un­der­gone four knee surg­eries in the last decade while she had to skip the Olympic qual­i­fiers last year fol­low­ing a ten­nis el­bow.

The KL Sea Games will be her sev­enth and fi­nal out­ing fol­low­ing ap­pear­ances in 1999 (Brunei), 2001 (KL), 2003 (Hanoi), Manila (2005), Ko­rat (2007) and Sin­ga­pore (2015).

Sock Khim is re­garded as Malaysia’s best hope for a medal fol­low­ing her sil­ver medal in the 2007 and 2015 Sea Games.

“My ca­reer is draw­ing to an end… It will be my fi­nal Sea Games and I want to de­liver a ti­tle for the coun­try,” said Sock Khim.

“How­ever, I am not re­tir­ing yet as I will pre­pare for next year’s Com­mon­wealth Games. I will de­cide after that on whether to re­tire for good.”

Sock Khim, who rated Thai­land, Sin­ga­pore and Viet­nam as favourites, will lead the Sea Games women’s team of Lee Rou You, Ho Ying, Alice Chang and Ting Hie Phin.

Reign­ing na­tional cham­pion Ashraf Haiqal Rizal, Leong Chee Feng, Shakirin Ibrahim, Wong Chun Cheun and Choong Javen make up the men’s team.

Gold medals will be of­fered in the men's and women's sin­gles, dou­bles, team event, and mixed dou­bles at the Sea Games.

The last time Malaysia cap­tured ta­ble ten­nis gold at the Sea Games was in 1991 through women's pair Phua Bee Sim-Chong Choi Thing.

The women’s team will at­tend a train­ing camp in Zhengding, China, while the men’s squad will be based in Bei­jing on June 10-Aug 2 to pre­pare for the Sea Games.

As for the World Cham­pi­onships, na­tional coach Beh Lee Wei is not ex­pect­ing much from her pad­dlers. Malaysia are rep­re­sented by Ashraf, Chee Feng, Ho Ying, Hie Phin and Rou You in Dus­sel­dorf.

Only men’s dou­bles Chee FengAshraf are in the main draw while the Malaysians must play the qual­i­fy­ing rounds in other events.

“My play­ers are only us­ing the world meet to gain ex­pe­ri­ence. There are no ex­pec­ta­tions but I hope they will per­form de­cently,” said Lee Wei. Ajit­pal Singh

Ng Sock Khim

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