National rhythmic gymnast Wong Poh San has pulled out of the world championships in Turkey this month due to a back injury. - Filepic
PETALING JAYA: A niggling back injury has forced Commonwealth Games medallist Wong Poh San to pull out of the Rhythmic Gymnastics World Championships in Izmir, Turkey, from Sept 22-28.
Poh San, who clinched a silver (ribbon) and two bronzes (hoop and team all-around) at the Glasgow Games last month, was the only Malaysian gymnast selected to compete in Turkey.
She was supposed to use the championships as part of her final preparations for the Incheon Asian Games in South Korea from Sept 19- Oct 4. The Asiad rhythmic gymnastics competition only takes place on Oct 1 and 2.
“It’s an old injury. Poh San got it treated before the Glasgow Games and it improved tremendously,” said Malaysian Gymnastics Federation (MGF) secretary N. Shanmugarajah.
“She’s feeling some discomfort now, so the technical committee decided it’s better for her to give the World Championships a miss and concentrate on getting 100% ready for the Asiad. She will be medically evaluated before she competes in South Korea,” added Shanmugarajah.
The Asiad will be a stern test for Poh San, 18, as she will have to contend with world-class competitors from Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan, China, Japan and hosts South Korea.
Malaysia have yet to finish on the podium in rhythmic gymnastics. The closest they came to ending the drought was at the 2006 Doha Games when Foong Seow Ting, Jamie Lee and Chrystal Lim finished fourth in the team event.