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Yong Ying has true grit

October 3, 2013 - 12:25am

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TNP PICTURE: Latashni Gobi Nathan

Bouncing back from injury is regarded as a genuine test of an athlete’s grit and resilience.

Victoria Junior College’s (VJC) Ho Yong Ying did it twice.

She dislocated her shoulder during competition in JC1 last year. After rehabilitation, she aggravated the same injury during training six months later.

It made her consider giving up on a sport she had been involved in since Primary 1, but something told Yong Ying not to give up.

Recalling the second incident, the 18-year-old said: “It was a really serious one because I could feel the bone coming out, like jutting out of place.

“I didn’t want to go for surgery yet because we had this year’s competition and I was hoping I could still train.

“I'm taking my A Levels this year, so I wanted to wait until after the exams to go for anything major like surgery.”

The VJC Girls team captain had already won two individual gold medals – in the changquan and broadsword events – when she entered her final event of the 2012 National Inter-School Wushu Championships, the Girls’ A Division cudgel.

The JC1 student dislocated her shoulder during her routine and was sent to hospital. The VJC girls went on to win the team title, but their leader was laid low after suffering a tendon strain.

BUCKLING DOWN

Yong Ying buckled down and religiously underwent physiotherapy for six months.

Just as she was ready to make a return in October, she aggravated her injury during training, and doctors recommended surgical reconstruction.

With the full support of her parents, Yong Ying decided against surgery, gambling that physiotherapy would get her back to fitness. Her teammates didn’t give up on her, either.

As only 10 names could be submitted for this year’s competition, and with the VJC Girls’ team featuring 11 names, one member gave up her spot for Yong Ying.

With her arm strapped up and taking care not to over-extend herself, Yong Ying resumed full training for the broadsword around two weeks before the A Division competition began.

In a heroic performance, Yong Ying went on to clinch individual gold in the broadsword by a margin of 0.06 points, and the VJC girls successfully defended the team title.

Said the VJC star: “It was such a relief because I was worried that the same injury would happen again during the routine.”

“We just wanted her to go through the routine and finish it unscathed,” said VJC’s teacher-in-charge of wushu, Teo Zhiye.

“We were quite worried and thought she had hurt herself in the middle of the routine, but we were surprised when she ended it with a smile on her face.

“For her to win it was really a bonus. You could say it was a bit of a miracle!”

Yong Ying is grateful for all the support, especially from her mum and dad, Poh Ting and Roger.

While she is keen to try out a new sport when she graduates from VJC, a part of Yong Ying isn’t ready to let go of a sport she fell in love with more than 11 years ago.

“I’m thinking of trying something new because in other sports like football and floorball, it’s even more competitive and what you do can affect the whole team,” said the wushu exponent.

“But then, there is some part of me that still wants to continue in wushu.

“I’ll feel weird without wushu, so I’m thinking of picking up coaching as well.”

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