Elena is carrying a knee injury into the Singapore SEA Games.
SINGAPORE: The SEA Games athletics competition begins Saturday and the Malaysian athletes are hoping to walk their way to at least one gold medal.
Two golds will be up for grabs when the men’s and women’s 20km walk events begin at 4pm.
Before the Myanmar Games two years ago, Malaysian walkers would have been near certainties for the gold medals in an event they had dominated for two decades.
But not anymore. Not since the disaster of the Myanmar Games in 2013.
Mohd Khairil Harith Harun, who made his debut in Myanmar, was just 200m away from the finish line to capture the bronze in the men’s 20km walk when he picked up a third warning for “floating” and was disqualified.
Lo Choon Sieng, who was then Malaysia’s best hope for a medal, retired halfway through the race.
Choon Sieng is not competing this time but Mohd Sharmin Mohd Aris, 20, will be making his debut in the event.
The prospect looks bleak in the women’s event as well.
Elena Goh, who will be making her debut in the women’s 20km event, is suffering from knee pains.
“I’ve been having knee problems for the last two years. I’ll be more than happy to just finish the race. The hot and humid afternoon weather will also be a problem,” said the 19-year-old Elena, who clocked a personal best of 1’42:56 to finish sixth in the Asian Walk Championships in Nomi City in March.
The women’s walk event will feature seven competitors.
There will be 46 medals up for grabs in athletics and the Malaysian Athletics Federation (MAF) are hoping to do better than the 4-6-13 haul from the Myanmar Games.
The men’s and women’s marathon will be held on Sunday while the track and field events will be from June 9-12 at the National Stadium.