Badminton ace optimistic despite tests for epilepsy

PUBLISHED : Tuesday, 06 April, 1993, 12:00am
UPDATED : Tuesday, 06 April, 1993, 12:00am

TOP Chinese badminton player Zheng Yumin, who collapsed during the men's doubles final at the Asian Championships, is thought to have had an epileptic fit.

Zheng received the kiss-of-life and heart massage after losing consciousness during a tense clash with Indonesians Hermawan Susanto and Imay Hendra at the Queen Elizabeth Stadium in Wan Chai on Sunday.

But yesterday the 26-year-old from Fujian, who is recovering at Queen Mary Hospital, said: ''I want to join competitions again. I am fine. I have no discomfort.'' Attached to a drip, Zheng said it was the first time he had lost consciousness during play.

With several bunches of flowers beside his bed, Zheng was able to receive visits from team members and friends. It is hoped he will be discharged this week.

The hospital's chief executive, Dr Vivian Wong, said Zheng's condition was stable.

Dr Wong said they suspected he was suffering from epilepsy, but more tests on his heart and brain would be performed today to confirm the cause of the collapse.

Neurologist Dr Huang Chen-ya said it was possible for epileptics to live normal lives and compete in sport.

Low blood sugar levels could bring on a fit, but this was unusual in competition because athletes usually managed to maintain their blood sugar levels until after the competition was over.

It was also possible for people to have what he described as ''secondary epileptic fits''. These could be brought on by a temporary lack of blood or oxygen to the brain.

''It is possible for someone to get that after giving blood, for example. In those circumstances, it is possible for someone to collapse with an epileptic fit, recover and never have another fit,'' he said.