KUALA LUMPUR: Olympian high jumper Lee Hup Wei has recovered from a heel injury on his left foot and will defend his title in the Indonesia SEA Games in November.
The 24-year-old athlete from Dengkil had surgery on March 29 on the injury which had been nagging him since last year.
Hup Wei, who won the Asian Track and Field (ATF) gold medal in Jordan in 2007 with a height of 2.24m, was supposed to rest for six months to fully recover.
However, Hup Wei, who featured in the 2008 Beijing Olympics, is one dedicated athlete and had started doing light training last week.
The jumper, who is trained by Cuban coach Jose Luis Alforo for the last three years, said that he was supposed to start training only next month.
“But I am eager to be back in action fast ... so I have decide to start training earlier. However, I am sad that I have missed a number of meets this year including the ATF in Japan last month,” said Hup Wei.
“I am looking forward to feature in the first meet this year, however, my coach feels that I am not ready for competition just yet.
“He wants me to concentrate on my fitness and also improve my technique in jumping before I can start competing,” said Hup Wei whose last competition was the Guangzhou Asian Games last November.
Hup Wei, who holds the national record of 2.27m which he did at the China Open in 2008, only managed to clear 2.15m to finish ninth in Guangzhou.
However, it was good enough for him to beat the SEA Games qualifying mark of 2.14m, which is the silver medal winning mark of the 2009 Vietnam Games.
He also featured in the New Delhi Commonwealth Games last October and did well to leap 2.23m to finish fifth.
Hup Wei said that he needs to train for two months before he can feature in his first meet this year.
“I won’t be surprise that Indonesia SEA Games could be my first competition this year. I will go all out to win my third consecutive gold medal at the Games. And I am confident of doing it with the help of Jose,” said Hup Wei, who also is eyeing to qualify for the 2012 London Olympics.
Hup Wei made his debut in the 2005 Manila Games and only managed 2.11 to finish fifth. However, two years later in Korat, he won the gold with 2.19m and he defended his title in Vietnam in 2009 clearing 2.18m.