National table tennis player Ng Sock Khim is back in the squad after eight months out with injury. - Filepic
KUALA LUMPUR: National No. 2 woman paddler Ng Sock Khim is one cool lass – but don’t let it fool you.
She’s definitely made of sterner stuff.
The resolute 29-year-old Sock Khim has fought her way back from eight months out with a knee injury to win the right to represent the country at the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow, Scotland, in July.
That’s not all. She’s now bent on helping the team win another medal at the Games. She was a member of the team who won the country’s first-ever bronze medal in table tennis at the last Commonwealth Games in New Delhi in 2010.
The Table Tennis Association of Malaysia (TTAM) have named Sock Khim together with seasoned campaigner Beh Lee Wei and two youngsters – Lee Rou You and Ho Ying. The men paddlers are Mohd Shakirin Ibrahim, Muhamad Ashraf Haiqal Muhamad Rizal and Leong Chee Feng.
Sock Khim, who is ranked second behind Lee Wei based on seniority, said that it felt good to don national colours in a major Games again after missing the Myanmar SEA Games last December.
“I aggravated an old knee injury in August. In December, I went for a surgery. At my age, many would have given up but not me. I went for rehabilitation and now I have started light training. It’s good to be back,” beamed Sock Khim.
In fact, Sock Khim will leave with the team to Tokyo on Saturday for the World Team Table Tennis Championships starting on Monday – but as a coach.
“I will take it slow and steady. It may be too risky to exert myself by jumping into a competition right away. I’m going to the world team meet as a coach,” she said.
“Besides assisting the team, this trip will give me an opportunity to gauge the standard of the paddlers from the Commonwealth countries.
“At the Commonwealth Games, our main challengers will be Singapore, Australia, England, India and Canada. Singapore are the favourites as they have imports from China.
“We won a bronze at the last edition and it will be awesome if we retain that or even go one step better.”
Her good friend and veteran Lee Wei was also delighted to have Sock Khim back in the team.
“We missed her at the SEA Games but her return will certainly add more depth to our team at the Commonwealth Games, We have a few tournaments and overseas training stints lined up to strengthen our preparation,” said 13-time national champion Lee Wei, who also acts as the team’s chief coach.
Apart from the World Team Championships, the national team will also compete in two Opens – in the Philippines (May 15-18) and Australia (May 21-15).
“A training stint in China has been approved and we will fine-tune our preparations there for one month before heading to Glasgow for the Games,” said Lee Wei, who has competed in every edition of the Commonwealth Games since Manchester in 2002.