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Published: Friday December 6, 2013 MYT 1:05:00 AM
Updated: Friday December 6, 2013 MYT 1:14:40 AM

Lee Yang’s injury dims wushu gold medal hopes

World champion Lee Yang's knee injury has prevented him from defending his taijijian and taijiquan gold medal at the Myanmar SEA Games wushu competition starting on Saturday. - Filepic

World champion Lee Yang's knee injury has prevented him from defending his taijijian and taijiquan gold medal at the Myanmar SEA Games wushu competition starting on Saturday. - Filepic

PETALING JAYA: The Malaysian wushu team’s three-gold medal target at the SEA Games suffered a blow after former world champion Lee Yang was ruled out of the defence of his taijijian and taijiquan combined event title in the competition starting in Naypyidaw on Saturday.

Lee Yang, who captured the world title in Toronto in 2009, failed a fitness test upon a final evaluation of the exponents by coach Yoong Thong Foong.

The 28-year-old was tipped to shine at the world meet in Kuala Lumpur last month but his knee injury proved to be a stumbling block and he finished well out of the medals.

Lee Yang will only compete in duilian (dual event) at the Games, partnering Yeap Wai Kin and Ho Mun Hua.

His team-mate Loh Jack Chang will now carry the burden of keeping the title in Malaysian hands.

Jack Chang, a bronze medallist at last month’s world meet, will be gunning for his second gold medal after capturing the first in the 2009 SEA Games in Laos.

Debutant Loh Choon How, who is being groomed to supplement the men’s taiji department, stands to gain as he will take up Lee Yang’s place alongside Jack Chang.

Choon How was called up to the national team after winning the gold medal at the Sukma Games in Kuantan last year.

The youngster has since proved his worth by taking silver in the World Combat Games in Moscow in October.

The pony-tailed Lee Yang is aware that he’s in no good condition for the defence of his taiji title. “There have been issues with my knee since I came back from the World Games in Cali in August this year (where he delivered silver),” said the Perak-born Lee Yang. “It is common in our sport. In the taiji discipline, the movements are slow but we put a lot of pressure on our knees.

“The SEA Games is a combined event, unlike the world meet, and it is better for me not to aggravate my condition and give the youngsters a chance.

“I still have other assignments, like the Asian Games in Incheon next year. I hope to get well and fight for a place.”

Malaysia will be hoping to retain the three-gold performance from the Indonesia SEA Games two years ago.

Aside from Lee Yang, the other gold medals won in Palembang came from Kevan Cheah (men’s nandao and nangun) and Tai Cheau Xuen (women’s nandao and nangun).

Tags / Keywords: SEA Games, Myanmar, Nyapidaw, Naypyitaw, wushu, Malaysia

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