MALAYSIA’s SEA Games fortunes took yet another blow with the latest news that diver Bryan Nickson is down with injury.
The Beijing Olympics-bound diver suffered a muscle tear in his left ankle while training two weeks ago and it could hamper his performance in the competition, which begins on Dec 11 at the Aquatic Centre in the Nakhon Ratchasima Sports Complex.
Bryan, who completed his SPM examinations last week, is bidding to retain his 10m individual platform gold medal and he will partner rookie Ahmad Fakhri for the synchronised platform competition.
The 17-year-old Sarawakian had stayed home because of the examinations and did not do full training under Chinese coach Lan Wei while his team-mates went to Tianjin to prepare for the Korat Games.
Malaysia have already been hit by the withdrawal of hurdler Noraseela Khalid and shuttler Wong Mew Choo.
While the National Sports Institute (NSI) have given Bryan the nod to compete in the Games, his form remains to be seen.
The Amateur Swimming Union of Malaysia (Asum) secretary, Edwin Chong, said that the doctor had earlier informed them that Bryan would need about two to three weeks to recover fully.
“He had a slight muscle tear and it hampers his movement when he takes off the board. We will get a better picture of his condition when he goes for another check-up before leaving for Korat in a few days time,” said Edwin from Kuala Lumpur.
There was relief for the national aquatics team when swimmer Daniel Bego returned to the pool yesterday.
Daniel was stricken with fever after arriving on Monday evening. His condition worsened the next day, forcing the 18-year-old to miss the afternoon training session.
But Daniel appeared to have made a fast recovery and was back in the pool yesterday.
Coach Gavin Urquhart said Daniel looked much better and hoped his charge would be stronger when he competes in his first event, the 4x200m freestyle, tomorrow.
Daniel is down to compete in five individual events 100m, 200m and 400m freestyle as well as the 100m and 200m butterfly and also the 4x100m medley and 4x100m freestyle.
“We’ll only know how well he has recover when his individual events get underway later. But he is looking strong today and I’m pleased with what I saw,” said Urquhart.
“As I said before, he is a fighter and I know his determination is strong enough to give his best shot in every event.”