PETALING JAYA: After an agonising 73 days of hospitalisation and uncertainty, national hammer thrower Jackie Wong Siew Cheer is back. The athlete is slowly regaining his bulk and building up his gallop after his Covid-19 ordeal.
Jackie, the first Malaysian athlete to be infected by the virus, was warded at the Sibu General Hospital for more than two months after testing positive on March 16.
The 27-year-old Jackie, however, is not ready to pick up where he left off.
He resumed training at the National Sports Complex in Bukit Jalil on July 7 after getting a clean bill of health from the National Sports Institute (NSI).
The national hammer champion also received a massive shot in the arm, getting a RM3,000 incentive from the Malaysian Athletics Federation (MAF) last week for breaking his own national record three times throughout 2019. He had managed throws of 67.31m, 67.49m and 68.22m.
“I returned to Bukit Jalil last month and went through several tests and medical check-ups prepared by the NSI. All the tests showed I was fit to resume training, ” said Jackie.
“I have started training for the last two weeks... my training programme is focused on getting back my fitness, stamina and my conditioning after the long break due to the hospitalisation.”
Although the sports world has been crippled by the pandemic, with tournaments being scrapped all over, Jackie is seeing it as a blessing. He can focus on recapturing his old form.
“I’m not sure if any competition will be organised this year, but that doesn’t mean we can take it easy... I still have to focus on my recovery and training.” he said.
“I have to admit that my performance has gone down. It will take some time for me to make a full comeback.
“I have to thank MAF for the incentive payment, they have fulfilled their promise. I am motivated to train harder for the country.”