Scarred by Covid-19, hammer thrower Jackie Wong takes one step at a time

It was a scare that Jackie Wong Siew Cheer will remember for a long time.

After recovering from Covid-19, the national hammer thrower is eager to compete but the uncertainty is killing him.

This comes as Kuala Lumpur, Selangor and Putrajaya are the latest areas to be placed under Conditional Movement Control Order starting tomorrow.

“Several local competitions were scheduled for the second half of this year but everything is now on hold due to the spike in Covid-19 cases,” said Wong, who holds the national record of 68.22m.

“Since returning for training in July, the focus has mostly been on fitness and stamina. It’s a little frustrating not being able to compete. I’ve yet to reach my peak but I will take my time.”

Wong, who was hospitalised for over 70 days, said he was not overly perturbed about his current performance as his throws were still close to his national record.

“I need to work on my stamina and fitness. While in the ward, I had limited equipment to work with and there was limited space to exercise.

“My coach (Gu Yuan) has been a great motivator. She has been with me every step of the way since I tested positive for Covid-19 in March. She keeps in constant touch via video conferencing and guides me with my daily exercise.”

Wong is now setting his sights on the 24th Asian Athletics Championships in Hangzhou, China and the Hanoi SEA Games next year.

“That too if the competitions are not rescheduled,” he added.

Wong also said it was good that athletes based at the National Sports Council in Bukit Jalil are not allowed to go out.

“It’s a clever decision. If you are infected with Covid-19, then it can affect so many people. If we don’t have close contact with people outside the training centre, we will not bring the virus in.

“We just have to sacrifice for these few months. I consider this as a new duty of us athletes,” he added.