NSI to pay more attention to athletes' health from now on

PETALING JAYA: National Sports Institute (NSI) chief executive officer Datuk Dr Ramlan Abdul Aziz believes that national cager Jacky Ng Kiat Kee’s death on Sunday was purely “sudden” and there is no negligence by any parties.

The 25-year-old Jacky collapsed at 5pm whilst sitting on the bench during the national team’s invitational match in Jinjiang, China, and was pronounced dead two hours later after doctors failed to revive him. It is learnt that he died of a heart failure. 

“The basketball team have a good medical record and they always did their check-up on time. 

“That is why I believe that there is no negligence involved,” said Dr Ramlan.

“The usual practice is that the team will get the medical done before the SEA Games. This time there were no check-up before they left for China last Friday because they were supposed to come back and do it.

“It’s just unfortunate and sad because sometimes athletes themselves are unaware that they have a cardiovascular problem. Even if they undergo proper examinations, there is still a chance that it may go undetected.

“What happened with Jacky is probably down to three possibilities – his heart is trammelling but not pumping fast enough, the heart muscle is not strong enough or that he may have irregular heart beat.

“There may be other possibilities too but I will have to wait for the full report first.

“I guess there is a lesson to be learnt here. After this incident, the NSI will have to give more attention to all the athletes, including those who are not going for major events like the SEA Games. 

“We have to ensure that our athletes are well covered.

“It is also important that we put out a message to all our young athletes and encourage them to go through a medical examination. Once they’re out there doing intensive training, many things can go wrong,” added Dr Ramlan.

For the record, this is not the first case of a young athlete suffering from a cardiac arrest. In October 2011, national back-up bowler Khoo Beng Khai suffered a heart attack and died within the National Sports Council (NSC) compound.
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