In the middle of second game of the badminton women’s singles quarter-final match, Jaslyn Hooi dived to receive the shuttlecock and missed.
She lay sprawled on the floor for a good five seconds, with her ankle sending spasms of pain through her leg.
It was a mixture of joy and pain for Jaslyn as she proceeds to play at the semi-finals tomorrow. Photo: Singapore National Olympic Council
Eventually, Jaslyn got up with a grimace etched on her face and looked over to her coach Kevin Ho. The sprain in her right ankle that the 18 year-old shuttler sustained in her previous game during the group stages had come back to haunt her.
“When I was first injured, I thought I couldn’t make it anymore. But my coach said, ‘Just try, just fight.’,” she said.
She was trailing USA’s Jennie Gai by 15-17. But she battled through the pain to grab the next six points, beating Jennie 2-0 overall to win a spot in the semi-finals.
“I knew I was injured, so I might have a disadvantage, but I tried not to think about it. I told myself to focus, look forward, and don’t think about the past,” she added.
A spot in the finals is now up in her sights but she first has to overcome China’s Wang Zhi Yi, the second seed at the Games.
The gritty win on Wednesday also means that Jaslyn has a shot at a medal. But she is not letting that distract her. For now, she is just focused on taking one step at a time.
“I didn’t expect myself to go into the semi-finals, so I’m quite excited and looking forward to tomorrow’s match and hopefully, I can play my best,” she said.
She is not the only athlete who performed beyond their own expectations. Over in the pool, swimmer Maximillian Ang has been delivering some high performances of his own after setting two personal bests at the YOG.
He beat his previous record of 2 minutes 6.71 seconds with a new timing of 2:05:96 during the 200M Individual Medley heats on day two of the Games.
Yesterday, Maximillian, 17, also broke his best timing of 2:17:19 in the 200M breaststroke heats, clocking 2:16:90 to make the finals, where he finished 7th out of 8 racers.
“I’m very happy with my performance. Getting a personal best is not easy and you have to work very hard for it,” he said.
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