Discus thrower attempting to recover from injury in time
IRFAN Shamshuddin may well have become an Asian champion had he not been hampered by a torn lower back muscle injury which sees him attempting to recover in time for the Kuala Lumpur Sea Games.
Even though the discus thrower had been carrying the injury for two months as he went to the Asian Championships in India in early July, Irfan still won a silver medal for Malaysia’s first podium finish at the meet in eight years.
Irfan, who turns 22 on Aug 16, is not nicknamed “The Beast” without reason.
He displayed his steely determination and braved the pain to break the national record three times after coming down with the injury upon his arrival in early May.
The two-time Sea Games gold medallist is confident the injury will not prevent him from making it a hat-trick of victories on Aug 22, when Irfan is expected to deliver Malaysia’s first athletics gold medal.
“I’m getting better day by day. The hard part is when I’m throwing, when I’m rotating my body. I can still throw above 60 metres,” Irfan told Timesport in an interview arranged by his sponsor Under Armour.
“It happened when I arrived in Europe in May during gym training. At first I felt just tightness which is normal for an athlete.
“I thought it would disappear in a few days. But it got worse and by the time of my first competition in Germany it was already painful.
“I still managed to break the national record three times because I was in good shape. In India, if not for the pain, I could have done better.”
Irfan’s national record of 62.55 metres he set in Linz, Austria on May 25 could be under threat again at the Sea Games should he recover full fitness in time.
“I can still do near 64 metres in training but to translate that into competition is difficult,” he said. “It affects you mentally and not to think about the injury is very hard. “You have to be careful for fear of
making it worse. I think I just need another two weeks to recover fully. I see some good results with the pain becoming less.”
Irfan’s confidence is also boosted by the faith shown by Under Armour, who signed him up in June.
“I had been looking for an apparel sponsor for a long time,” said Irfan. “So with the Sea Games approaching, it helps me that they have faith in me. I feel comfortable in the throwing shoes during training and my needs are not much.”