KUALA LUMPUR: The gravity-defying jumps and the various stunts throughout the years have taken its toll on Loh Choon How.
The wushu exponent has hinted that he might call it quits as he has been bugged by various injuries over the years.
The 26-year-old, has had an outstanding year, bagging a silver medal at the World Championships and Malaysia’s first gold at the Philippines SEA Games in the taijiquan event on Dec 1, before claiming his second gold in the taijijian a day later.
And for his feats, he was duly named the men’s Olympian of the Year by the Olympic Council of Malaysia (OCM) at the Shangri La Hotel here on Thursday.
After bagging the prestigious award, the wushu phenom who took up the sport at the age of 10, said he badly wants to look after his body next year.
“Before 2019, I struggled with a lot of injuries. Before the SEA Games, I had just recovered from a back injury and a torn meniscus on my right knee. After the taijiquan final, it flared up and I had to seek help from the National Sports Institute to compete in the next event, ” he said.
“Right now, my physical state is not at its best. Due to my back injury, I cannot stand for too long. Fifteen minutes seems like a lifetime. I constantly need to sit and rest.
“On my retirement plans, I will let the Wushu Federation of Malaysia decide. Right now, I just want to focus on my recovery.
“Once I am fully recovered, I will see what can be done next.”
Even if he quits, the pint-sized athlete vowed to give back to the sport he loves.
“Wushu will always be with me. Even if I am not competing, I hope to guide the juniors.”
He said the award meant a lot to him and wushu, as he is only the second exponent to receive the honour since 1993, when Ho Ro Bin won it in 2002.
“It shows that wushu is now recognised in the country. The award is a culmination of our hard work throughout the years. We now hope that everyone can see what we have contributed to the nation.
“I want to thank my president Datuk Chong (Kim Fatt) for believing in me throughout the years.”
Apart from a gold medal, Choon How received RM10,000 from the Yang di-Pertuan Agong Al-Sultan Abdullah Ri’ayatuddin Al-Mustafa Billah Shah.
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