San San steers careful course

PUBLISHED : Sunday, 17 November, 2002, 12:00am
UPDATED : Sunday, 17 November, 2002, 12:00am

Lee Lai-shan said she had not suffered any pain in her first races since recovering from an abdominal problem, but the SAR's golden girl remained careful yesterday as she prepared for next month's World Championships in Pattaya, Thailand.

'I haven't turned my engine to full throttle yet. Both my board speed and physical fitness were below my normal form. I don't want the ailment to strike me again and force me to miss the World Championships,' said reigning world champion San San after finishing a modest sixth overall on the opening day of the Hong Kong circuit Shek O leg.

At last month's Pusan Asian Games, San San missed the presentation of her gold for winning the women's mistral class and rushed home for treatment of an abdominal condition. San San was discharged from hospital after spending three nights undergoing tests. She resumed training only two weeks ago.

'I wasn't close to my normal form but that is to be expected. It's a good warm-up for the worlds. I didn't feel any pain but I still have to be careful. I'm not sure if the ailment will strike again in Pattaya if I push myself to the limit. I'll bring some medicine with me.

'Normally, I would be leading or in the top three when competing locally but I had to content myself with being in the middle of the fleet today. I was also unlucky that some plastic bags dragged under my board in races two and three,' said San San, who registered third, 10th and eighth in yesterday's races.

The 1996 Atlanta Olympic champion has also decided not to put too much pressure on herself in her defence of the world title because the event is so soon, being scheduled for December 8-15. 'I'm a little worried about how fit I will be in Pattaya as I'm racing against time. I would have been more confident if the worlds were further away. I'll have to take it a step at a time,' she said.