KUALA LUMPUR: Wushu exponent Tai Cheau Xuen thought her career was over when she was banned for four months for a doping offence at the Asian Games last September.
The 23-year-old was the first Malaysian gold medallist in Incheon, South Korea, after winning the women’s nanquan and nandao combined event. But her world came crumbling down after she was tested positive for sibutramine, an ingredient commonly found in slimming products.
She lost her gold medal and was banned for four months. The ban ended at the end of March this year.
And now Cheau Xuen’s back and is all fired up to make up for lost time. She will make her first competitive appearance at next month’s Singapore SEA Games.
“I thought my career was over after the ban. It was tough during the suspension, as I had nothing to do.
“But I was advised to keep fit by doing muscle strengthening exercise on my own. I’m glad it’s over now and I’m going to the SEA Games,” said the 23-year-old from Seremban.
Cheau Xeun said she would not have been able to make a comeback if not for her family’s support.
“My dad (T.W. Tai) asked me to forget what happened and not to dwell on the past,” added Cheau Xuen, who recently returned home with the national team from a month-long training stint in Foochow, China.
The Singapore outing will be Cheau Xuen’s fifth outing in the biennial Games. She made her debut in Korat, Thailand, in 2007 where she managed to finish second behind compatriot Diana Bong Siong Lin in the nanquan and nandao combined events.
In Laos in 2009, Cheau Xuen could only manage a bronze in the duel event bare hands. It was in Indonesia in 2011 that Cheau Xuen managed to clinch her first gold in the nandao and nangun combined event.
Cheau Xuen was on top of the podium again in Myanmar in 2013 by winning the nandao event. She is now eyeing her third gold in Singapore.
“It’s harder this time as the nanquan and nandao disciplines are combined into one event. But I did not expect to be at the SEA Games in the first place, so I am going to try my best,” said Cheau Xuen.
Wushu delivered three golds, all in the women’s category, for Malaysia in 2013. Besides Cheau Xuen, the other gold medallists were Diana (nanquan) and Phoon Eyin (qiangshu).
by Lim Teik Huat - The Star