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KUALA LUMPUR, April 22 -- Southeast Asia’s (SEA) discus champion Muhammad Irfan Shamsuddin is worried that an old injury could scupper his chances of retaining the SEA Games gold medal for a fifth consecutive time.
The 25-year-old fears he may have torn a ligament on his left foot again during training in early February, having first suffered the injury two years ago.
With the 2021 SEA Games in Hanoi, Vietnam set to be held in November, Muhamad Irfan, who holds the national discus record of 62.55 metres (m), said he may be sidelined for six months if the latest injury is confirmed to be a torn ligament.
“I turned (to thrown the discus) and fell, something ‘happened’ at the spot (of the old injury). I hope I will only need to undergo physiotherapy and nothing more,” he told Bernama.
He had a Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) done at Universiti Putra Malaysia (UPM) on Tuesday and is awaiting the result before continuing with his training programme at the National Sports Council (NSC) in Bukit Jalil.
Two weeks before the Manila SEA Games in the Philippines in November 2019, Muhammad Irfan suffered a ligament tear on his left foot.
Meanwhile, with the closing date for qualification to the Tokyo Olympics set to end on June 29, Muhammad Irfan, who is ranked 66th in the world, refuses to even think about setting a new personal record at the SEA Games.
Instead, the discus thrower, who is in the process of ‘rebuilding’ his muscles after recovering from a COVID-19 infection earlier this year, only wants to focus on getting himself fit again and be injury-free so that he can give his best.
“I can only do upper body workout if the injury is serious and surely that means I can’t give my 100 per cent during training. I need to be in good health first if I intend to compete and be at my peak,” he explained.