Tze Yong taking spine injection to be fit for Olympics qualifying race


It really hurts: Ng Tze Yong complaining about his back injury to the umpire while playing against Singapore’s Jason Teh during the quarter-finals of the Asia Team Championships. — IZZRAFIQ ALIAS/The Star

PETALING JAYA: Men’s singles shuttler Ng Tze Yong is exploring every avenue he has in an attempt to save his Paris Olympics dream.

Tze Yong faces a tough battle to qualify for the Olympics after injuring his spinal disc during the Asia Team Championships recently.

The 23-year-old now faces a race against time to be fit for the back-to-back French Open (March 5-10) and All-England (March 12-17).

With the Olympic qualifying window coming to a close at the end of April, Tze Yong needs to compete in the tournaments to remain in the world’s top 16.

He is currently sitting precariously at No. 16 in the world, and 15th in the Road to the Olympics ranking.

National coaching director Rexy Mainaky disclosed that Tze Yong, who had taken an injection earlier, would try to get himself back to full fitness,

“I had a conversation with Tze Yong yesterday (Thursday) and he told me he has taken an injection to deal with his spinal issue,” said Rexy after overseeing a training session at the Academy Badminton Malaysia (ABM) in Bukit Kiara yesterday.

“If the injection works, he would be able to return to full training.

“We hope it will work. It will be a pity if he misses out on the Olympics as he is still in the top 16.”

Rexy also admitted that Tze Yong was frustrated with the situation he had had found himself in but was trying his best to remain positive.

“He is frustrated with his condition and with himself,” said Rexy.

“I can understand his feelings as who does not want to play in a big tournament like the All-England? More so now that Olympic qualifying is nearing the end.

“But he is trying to remain positive. He is undergoing light training now.”

Tze Yong has yet to play a full match in an individual tournament this year.

He was forced to retire from the first round of the Malaysian Open last month after suffering a muscle tear in his lower back.

Tze Yong was just recovering from the injury when he picked up the spinal issue.

He only managed to complete one full match in the Asia team meet against minnows Brunei.

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