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Old 3rd August 2011, 10:42 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Weightlifting: Absent coach leaves Wong 'directionless'

Weightlifting: Absent coach leaves Wong 'directionless'

By Philip Goh Haw Hann, TODAY
Posted: 03 August 2011 0754 hrs


SINGAPORE: Weightlifter Helena Wong's bid for a medal at the November 11-22 SEA Games in Indonesia has hit a snag: The woman lifter has been without a coach for the past month.


(Photo Courtesy of Helena Wong)

Singapore Weightlifting Federation (SWF) head coach Wu Chuanfu is back in China attending to personal matters, leaving Wong and fellow SEA Games aspirant Lewis Chua to train on their own.

Wong, 23, returned to Singapore early last month to start work with the Institute of Technical Education (ITE), which had given her a scholarship to study Sports and Exercise Science at England's Loughborough University.

Currently a lecturer at ITE College East in Simei, Wong, who will compete in the under-53kg class, is juggling full-time work from 7.30am to 5pm, with training at the SWF headquarters at Jalan Benaan Kapal in the evenings.

Speaking to TODAY, Wong, who has hoisted a combined total of 148kg, said Wu's absence has left her directionless.

"I don't know how to proceed in terms of technical development and other areas that I should be working on," she said. "Had I been aware of this situation, I may have applied to defer the start of my employment to allow me to continue training in England."

According to SWF president Tom Liaw, Wu is due back in Singapore on Thursday but he is also seeking to step up Wong's training with a three-month stint at the Zhuhai Sports Institute. That, however, will depend on whether Wong is able to secure a release from her employers.

"I've written to ITE this week requesting for Helena to be given leave for the training camp and the Singapore Sports Council are backing our move with a supporting letter," said Liaw. "We've not heard from the ITE officially but hope they'll support our effort to score a first medal in women's weightlifting at a major games."

Zhuhai is where Singapore's Youth Olympic lifters Joel Law and Jamie Wee trained last year and the atmosphere and exposure to other lifters there helped them raise their game.

The SWF also plan to send Wong for the 2011 World Weightlifting Championships in Paris in early November, just before the SEA Games.

Said Liaw: "Helena spent the early part of this year recovering from injuries and juggling work and training now will not be adequate to get her completely focused.

"Getting her to Zhuhai will help prepare her for the world champs, and being in Paris will increase her chances of scoring a wildcard for next year's London Olympics."

Meanwhile, the SWF have appealed to the Singapore National Olympic Council to approve 20-year-old Chua's participation in the SEA Games.

At the Junior World Weightlifting Championships in Penang last month, the heavyweight hoisted a combined total of 281kg, only 9kg short of the SEA Games qualifying mark.

Said Liaw: "Lewis has a good chance of winning a SEA Games medal, and if he's given the nod, I'll also want him to go for the Zhuhai camp."

Source: http://www.channelnewsasia.com/stori...144687/1/.html

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