Asian Games 2018: star Hong Kong fencer Lam Hin-chung turns to ‘last resort’ in bid to make history in Indonesia
The 32-year-old is battling a knee injury and hopes a platelet-rich plasma injection helps him win back-to-back medals
Veteran fencer Lam Hin-chung will turn to his “last resort” in his bid to overcome an injured knee and become the first Hong Kong fencer to win two individual Asian Games medals.
The 32-year-old sabreur, who will be competing in his fourth and possibly last Asian Games in Jakarta, captured a bronze medal at the Incheon Games four years ago.
However his chances of winning back-to-back individual fencing medals has been hampered by a nagging knee tendon problem.
Lam will turn to a platelet-rich plasma (PRP) injection to boost his medal chances – platelet activation plays a key role in the process of wound and soft tissue healing.
The use of PRP – a portion of the patient’s own blood having a platelet concentration above baseline – is to promote healing of injured tendons, ligaments, muscles and joints.
“The injury came after I changed my centre of gravity to improve my skills after the last Asian Games and the pain continues to develop,” said Lam, who will be joined by his sister Hin-wai for the Indonesia Games.
“In sabre, movements and attacks are extremely fast and it doesn’t look good for me as the pain really hurts.
“I have tried various treatment methods over the last two years but the problem is still there. Taking the injection will be the last resort, especially as this may be my last Asian Games in consideration of my age.”
Lam said he was told he could only have two injections and will take the first one before the Hong Kong team leaves for next week’s training camp in Guangzhou.
“We’ll see the response of the first injection before taking the second ahead of the Games,” he said. “If it helps, it will be great but if it doesn’t, I still have to put up my best effort in Jakarta before I call it a day. After all, it’s always a great honour to win medals at the Asian Games.”
Hong Kong took three individual bronze medals in Incheon, the two others being Vivian Kong Man-wai in the women’s epee and Lin Po-heung in the women’s foil.
They also won five bronze medals in the team events. Each team can send two fencers for individual events and a team of four members.
Lam, who first represented Hong Kong at the junior World Championships in 2002, said many young fencers have come through the ranks in recent years and he would have no regrets if he quits after the Asian Games.
“We have a lot of potential sabreurs coming up quickly and I have to give them the opportunity to have more international exposure,” he said. “I can still stay with the team as trainer if they need my help.”
But Hin-wai is one that will miss having her brother in the team.
“It was him that brought me to fencing and I owe him a lot in sports as he is such a good teacher,” said Hin-wai, who took individual and team bronze at the Asian Championships in June and was a member of the bronze-medal winning team at the past two Asian Games.
“I am used to have him training on the next piste but I know you have to accept the reality when the day comes.”