HANOI – For some time, nationwide excessive jumper Kampton Kam was in denial, and easily tried to “tahan” (endure in Malay) the sharp ache he felt in his chest over a number of days final week.
And even after a go to to the physician revealed the reason for his struggling – a collapsed lung which required surgical procedure and ultimately led to his official withdrawal from the SEA Games on Friday (May 13) – he was nonetheless lifeless set on competing.
The 20-year-old tried to postpone his surgical procedure to after the May 12-23 SEA Games. And when he was instructed that was not attainable, he refused to surrender hope.
“I actually tried to bargain with the doctor to drive up to Hanoi to compete, and I was exploring different ways to get to Hanoi without flying,” he instructed The Straits Times on Friday (May 13) night time.
“And even if I wasn’t able to compete but was clear to fly, I wanted to go and support my teammates.”
He bought neither the nod to compete nor fly, and ultimately he accepted his predicament. He underwent surgical procedure on May 6 and was discharged from hospital three days later.
On hindsight, Kam admitted his medical state of affairs was dire, sheepishly describing the depth of ache as “8.5 or 9 out of 10” and one which “radiated through my whole chest”.
There was a motive for his desperation to compete in Vietnam. He had been in good type and would have been a contender for the gold medal in Hanoi, one thing that had not been achieved since Noor Azhar Hamid in 1975.
Kam had spent 24 days coaching in Karlstad, Sweden in late 2021 with 2004 Olympic champion Stefan Holm. The stint paid dividends.
In April, he had cleared 2.20m on the Singapore Open, simply 1cm off the gold-medal successful mark on the 2019 SEA Games, and 2cm off Wong Yew Tong’s nationwide file from 1995.
Singapore Athletics vice-president (coaching and choice) Gary Yeo mentioned that the affiliation was knowledgeable that Kam’s surgical procedure had gone properly, and that he was dissatisfied for the teen.
“As with all injuries, and in this case a medical condition, it’s best to concentrate solely on recovery,” mentioned Yeo, a former nationwide sprinter and five-time SEA Games silver medallist.
“I always advocate for athletes taking as much time as they need to come back stronger.”
Kam, who in August will start research at The Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania, wrote in a social media put up on Friday that he was “devastated at the crushing setback”, however vowed he would return stronger.
He instructed The Straits Times that he’s hopeful of returning to coaching in about three weeks’ time, and has set his sights on assembly the two.33m required to qualify for the World Athletics Championships in Oregon in July.
He could have had his probability at making his mark at these SEA Games taken away, however Kam has nonetheless not misplaced his sense of humour.
“At least I have two full lungs now to push and train harder for future meets and competitions,” he quipped.