Sock Khim gives up world appearance
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