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Sayang Sabah - The voice of Sabahans

Against all odds

Choo Ling Er sharing her story
Choo Ling Er sharing her story

KOTA KINABALU: Courage and perseverance was the message of an athlete recently.

Aspiring local multi-sports athletes had an insight of professional racing when a Singapore top triathlete and Ironman gave a motivational talk in conjunction with the Specialized Duathlon to be held next week.

Choo Ling-Er, 28, became the first Singaporean to quality for two Kona World Championships after winning her age category in Ironman Langkawi in 2014.

However everything was not always smooth sailing. Her tale however could be an inspiration, as three weeks before a scheduled race in Florida USA, Choo met with an accident that broke both her legs.

Choo recalled the day in 2009 as she was training on her bike early in the morning when car came and collided into her, breaking her left femur, and sending the broken top frame of her bicycle through her right kneecap and completely snapping her right ankle.

On top of that, a mild blood clot in her head as well as a damaged tailbone. She was told by the doctors that her chance of racing again were low, as she may not have the chance to properly walk again.

But Choo felt determined to recover and come back to finish her business.

With no training for eight months as she was on crutches, she swam every day. Two months later, she competed in the Marang Swimathon in Malaysia 6.5km swim in the open sea and finished 10th women.

“At the end of the swim I kept falling back into the water as my legs were still weak and couldn’t stand up properly.

“I only managed to do so, on my third attempt and hopped to the finish on one foot,” Choo told the crowd.

Choo then went on to win her age category in the Ironman 70.3 Philippines which then qualified her to the Ironman 70.3 World Championship in Clearwater (USA) in 2010 and finished 21st.

Ironman 70.3 is also known as Half Ironman which is 1.9km swim, 90km bike and 21.1 km run.

Choo, who first started as a runner and now picks cycling as her strongest discipline outlined three lessons from her experience.

“Never give up; if you want something, never wait for it, do it now; and if you are out there giving 100% in training, everything will get back to you,” Choo stressed.

The Ironman will next compete in Kona in October this year. As a Specialized sponsored athlete she was in the state capital to prepare participants for the Duathlon to be held in UMS which is organized by Performance Sportz.

For more information, check the Performance Sportz  call  088 – 212268.- Sayangsabah.


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