Monday, November 14, 2011

Song Hwa overcomes pain from a slipped disc to repeat her success

PALEMBANG: Hammer thrower Tan Song Hwa is truly a woman of steel.
The 25-year-old def-ending champion beat the pain barrier to land a crucial throw for Malaysia’s first athletics gold of the Games.

Song Hwa, who suffered a slipped disc in training two weeks ago, had been sceptical of repeating her success of Laos 2009.

Number one: Hammer thrower Tan Song Hwa celebrating her victory with coach Petrarovik Frank.
She recorded 55.1m on her first throw before reaching a distance of 55.15m on her fourth try.
It was a far cry from the Games record of 56.41m she set in Laos and her personal best of 58.71m but it was more than enough to give her a well-deserved second SEA Games gold medal.

The relatively weak field was no match for Song Hwa, with Indonesia’s Rose Herlinda taking silver with a 51.95m effort and Filipino Loralie Sermona the bronze on 49.69m.

“I was really worried about my chances because of my bad back,” said Song Hwa, clearly delighted with her effort.

“But my coach Frank Petrovic and I decided that it would be a waste to just give up without trying after working so hard for the past nine months.
“So, I decided to go ahead and compete.

“But I kept expectations low because I didn’t want the extra pressure to affect my performance.
“I was only feeling about 60-70 per cent confident. Thankfully, I managed to remain calm for the fourth throw which won it for me.

“It wasn’t my best effort because I could have easily broken the Games record if I were fit. Still, I’m relieved and happy to have won Malaysia’s second gold of the day.”

The stocky Song Hwa will now take a well-deserved four-month rest to fully recover from her slipped disc.


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