KUALA LUMPUR: When the national track and field squad reported in for training at the National Sports Council training track yesterday, national 100m champion Zaidatul Husniah Zulkifli (pic) was missing.
Instead, she was checking in at the nearby National Sports Institute (NSI).
The national sprinter underwent an anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) surgery on her right knee last week. The 27-year-old will be undergoing rehabilitation at the NSI and is expected to be out for another six months.
The pint-sized Kedahan injured her knee at the training track in February but could not seek treatment immediately because of the movement control order.
“According to the doctor, it will take me up to six months to fully recover and I only expect to return to training in February next year, ” said Zaidatul.
“I have to take care of my knee as I am a small sized person and prone to injuries. I will only return when I am ready because if I aggravate the injury, it may end my athletics career.”
Zaidatul made her SEA Games debut in Naypyidaw, Myanmar in 2013 and won her first medal – a bronze – two years later in Singapore in the 4x100m. At the KL Games in 2017, she won silvers in both the 100m and 200m while in Philippines last December, she managed another bronze in the 4x100m mixed event.
Zaidatul has been the national 100m champion for the last six years and was among the quartet that broke the national women’s 4x100m record of 45.17s in the Asian Championships in Bhubaneswar, India in 2017.
The others in the quartet were Nurul Faizah Asma Mazlan, Siti Fatimah Mohd and S. Komalam Shally.
Despite her knee surgery, Zaidatul will be getting married with 400m hurdler Mohd Firdaus Mazalan in Kuala Nerang on Aug 1.
Zaidatul and Firdaus are both in the Army and are based at the Sungai Besi camp. Zaidatul is a lance corporal while Firdaus is a private.