Sanjay Singh Chal (front) in a file photo. He was breathless after running on the training track last month. A check-up showed that he has an oversized heart.
KUALA LUMPUR: Having a big heart may be a good thing for most, but not for promising junior squash player Sanjay Singh Chal.
The Sarawakian, who will turn 20 on April 23, has been training very hard and it has resulted in the enlargement of his heart.
This is something that happens to athletes who train too hard. More blood is pumped through the body, causing the heart to enlarge. It also results in the resting heart rate to be lower than normal.
The National Sports Institute (NSI) has advised the former Bukit Jalil Sports School (BJSS) student to stop training as he needs complete rest.
Sanjay, who turned professional two years ago, said that he was breathless after running on the training track in Bukit Jalil last month.
“I just could no breathe and this shocked me.
“I went for a check-up at the NSI and the doctor told me that my heart became oversized due to hard training or genetics,” said Sanjay, who understandably paled when talking about his conditions.
“I don’t think it is genetic as my grandparents and parents don’t have a history of heart problems.
“I believe this is due to pushing myself to the limit in training in the hope of further improving my game and fitness.
“However, too much training has affected my heart. It has also affected my squash career as I wanted to be a world class player,” said Sanjay, who is ranked 184th in the world.
He was supposed to feature in the SRAM (Squash Racquets Association of Malaysia) NSC No. 1 tournament, which begins on Monday at the National Squash Centre in Bukit Jalil, but now he will have to pull out.
“I will withdraw from the tournament as I need to rest. I will go for a medical check-up in two weeks’ time to find out whether there is any improvement in my condition.
“I hope to recover fast as I want to start training by next month and also play in the PSA (Professional Squash Association) tournaments.
“My mission this year is to represent Malaysia in the Asian Team Championships in Hong Kong in May and also the Incheon Asian Games in September.
“I am keeping my fingers crossed that everything will be okay,” said Sanjay.