‘I couldn’t even stand’: Singaporean windsurfer Amanda Ng overcomes injury to earn Tokyo Olympics spot

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SINGAPORE: Just 24 hours before what would be one of the most important competitions of her life, Singaporean windsurfer Amanda Ng could neither stand nor walk.

She slipped and fell while carrying her windsurf board on the steps, during her last training session two days before the start of competition in Oman.

Her performance at the Mussanah Open Championship would determine whether she can compete in the Tokyo Olympics.

“I twisted my knee during the fall. We couldn’t confirm the nature of the injury as I only took one x-ray. But when I spoke to Dr Ben Tan (former president of Singapore Sailing ) … he suspected MCL (medial collateral ligament), ”she told TBEN.

“I had to cry non-stop for a few hours. I really thought that was it. I couldn’t even stand, I couldn’t even walk. I was like – ‘I really don’t think I am. can run “.”

When I woke up the next day, things still looked dark.

“I was trying to be positive, (I thought) it would get better. But it was still so painful and I was like ‘oh my god the race is tomorrow.’

Despite the injury and having to be brought to her boat before each race, the 26-year-old managed to secure a berth at the Tokyo Olympics after finishing first in the RS: X women’s category on Thursday (April 8).

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READ: Sailing: Singapore’s Ryan Lo and Amanda Ng advance to Tokyo Olympics after wins at Mussanah Open

SHAKY START

The Mussanah Open Championship served as the Asian qualifier for the Olympics.

Ng’s bid to qualify for the Games got off to an uncertain start, as she finished last in her first race on April 3.

Speaking to TBEN on the phone from Oman, she said: “I was just trying to get a place, a finish rather than a DNF (didn’t finish) so I could fight once my knee improved.”

But things have improved.

“The knee really improved over the next few days, and that’s when I got more confidence to put weight on it, use it and start sailing properly,” he said. she declared.

“(I was supported by) everyone at home, all of their care and concern, my church community was really praying for me, and everyone here was so supportive … trying to help me, pushing me in a wheelchair.

Ng’s injury meant that her trainer had to help her set up her equipment on her behalf and she was brought to the boat at the start of each day.

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“Basically my trainer comes up and he throws for me. Someone was pushing me at the marina, at the pontoon, and getting me in the motorboat and that’s where I met my trainer,” he said. she declared.

Ng, who had to finish first in her event to qualify for the Games, took on a challenge from Filipino Charizanne Napa and finished first in her medal race on Thursday. She has also won seven of the previous 12 races.

“The second day, when I got my first ball (I won the race), and I think that was the turning point,” she explained.

“I realized it was really possible, there are still enough races to fight back. I am still so close to her. In the first few races I realized there was pain but my knee isn’t just going to come out. I can put weight on it, that’s okay. Just take the pain. “

This will be Ng’s second Olympic Games, after competing in the 2016 Games in Rio de Janeiro, where she finished 20th in the women’s 470 with Jovina Choo.

“I’m really excited to see how I play at the Olympics. I train really hard and I’m really excited to be able to go to the Games,” she said.

Along with Ng, laser sailor Ryan Lo also secured a berth at this year’s Tokyo Olympics after winning his event in Oman on Thursday.

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Lo won five of 10 races in the first five days of fleet racing, finishing 7th in the medal race on the final day.

READ: FOCUS: Dedication behind schedule – SG squad prepare for Olympics that remain in doubt

Lo and Ng will join compatriots Kimberly Lim and Cecilia Low who have already qualified for the 49erFX in Tokyo. The Olympics, which have been postponed for a year due to the COVID-19 pandemic, begin July 23.

“Honestly after the medal race… I felt so relieved. It’s been such a long week from the crash until now. I’m really so grateful for all the help and support that has helped me. to overcome this injury, ”said Ng.

“Everyone around me, Ryan, our coaches, they’ve been so positive, they just helped me reset my mind, and say ‘you still have a chance, keep fighting, keep fighting. “. It really helped. “

While Ng had to step onto the podium in the victory ceremony and was unable to step onto the top step to receive her sparkling gold, she had achieved what she set out to do. .

She had made the cut.

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