The strain of coping with an energy-sapping illness since May finally caught up with Fenella Ng Gar-loc, who made an early exit from the World Championhips in St Catharines, Canada. Her failure to reach the semi-finals of the lightweight single sculls was a far cry from her sixth place finish at last year's World Championships in Cologne, Germany. After failing to make much of an impression during her heat, coach Chris Perry was confident that she would make it to the semis via the repechage. But Ng finished fourth with only the top three going through to the next stage. Her time of eight minutes and 55.49 seconds was seven seconds adrift of third-placed Laura Clavijo of Spain and way behind repechage winner Mirna Rajle of Croatia (8:33.32) and second-placed Dutchwoman Marit van Eupen (8:40.71). 'Of course we are disappointed but it was the best race she has had this year,' said Perry, who was referring to the fact that Ng had been struggling to recover from a viral infection which attacked her during a World Cup meet in May. 'She was racing well in the first 1,500 metres but ran out of steam in the last 500 metres. 'She has not fully recovered from her illness and is still not fit enough to race the full distance,' he added. Ng will race in the consolation 'C' final tomorrow and Perry hopes that will be a confidence booster in the lead up to October's Asian Championships - an Olympic qualifier - in Japan, where she must finish in the top three in the heavyweight single sculls to make it to Sydney. Ng's main rival at the Asian Championships, Japan's Akiko Iwamoto, may have the psychological edge though after she reached the semi-finals in Canada. She also beat Ng in their heat. Perry, however, remained upbeat about Ng's chances in the Olympic qualifier. 'I'm not too worried about that. The Japanese girl was fortunate to make it to the semis [she finished third in her repechage].'