Waiting game: Injured Poon Lok-yan’s frustration at not being able to train and play boiling over

Hong Kong shuttler is still recovering from knee surgery and won’t be able to train again with partner Tse Ying-suet until early May, thereby jeopardising her hopes of making it to Rio

PUBLISHED : Monday, 28 March, 2016, 9:00pm
UPDATED : Monday, 28 March, 2016, 9:35pm

Hong Kong shuttler Poon Lok-yan is blaming an injury she says is jeopardising her hopes of reaching the Rio Olympic Games this summer with women’s doubles partner Tse Ying-suet.

Poon and Tse are in 12th place in the current Olympic qualification, which ends in the first week of May with the world’s top 16 pairs featuring in Rio.

It is a bit annoying as I can’t do anything but waiting in the wings in this crucial stage
Poon Lok-yan

Poon is still recuperating from injured knee ligaments suffered at the Macau Open last November and is likely to be out of action until early May, meaning the Hong Kong pair is losing valuable time trying to pick up enough points to cement their place for Rio.

“It is a bit annoying as I can’t do anything but wait in the wings in this crucial stage,” said the 24-year-old Poon. “The ranking is still looking good at the moment but there are still a number of events going on and who knows where we will end up by the time qualification is completed.

“Of course we really want to take part in the Olympic Games again after our appearance in London four years ago but we have no control of our fate.”

Three pairs, from Malaysia, Germany and the United States, are chasing closely behind the Hong Kong duo in the rankings, along with an Australian pair with three superseries tournaments and several grand prix gold level events still to play for before qualification ends.

The Hong Kong pair came close to picking up a major trophy at the Macau Open after leading the first game against a South Korean pair, but at 15-all in the second, Poon injured her knee and was forced to retire before being sent to hospital.

“I had successful surgery after coming back to Hong Kong but the injury is serious enough to keep me out of training. It’s too much for me as I can only watch helplessly as my fellow teammates play and strive for Olympic qualification,” said Poon.

The Hong Kong badminton team, meanwhile, face a hectic schedule before qualification closes. They are in New Delhi this week for the super series India Open before leaving two other tournaments – the Malaysia Open followed by the Singapore Open, both of which have super series status. They will then play in two grand prix gold events – the China Masters and Asia Championships before the qualifiers finally draws to a close.