- POSTED: 05 Jan 2014 17:51
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National discus thrower James Wong is retiring from the sport for good. The 44-year-old made that decision after failing to defend his title at the 2013 SEA Games in Myanmar.
SINGAPORE: National discus thrower James Wong is retiring from the sport for good.
The 44-year-old made that decision after failing to defend his title at the 2013 SEA Games in Myanmar.
On previous occasions, Wong had reversed decision to retire, in a career spanning over two decades, where he amassed nine discus gold medals and one gold in the hammer throw.
But there's no turning back this time round.
It was a historic moment for James Wong, winning his first gold medal in discus at the 1993 SEA Games in Singapore.
That started a gold spree which cemented his status as Southeast Asia's discus king.
All that crashed in Myanmar when he finished in fifth spot.
Age finally caught up with the big man, and even the lure of Singapore hosting the next Games is not enough for a comeback.
James Wong said: "I have been getting requests from people telling me, come on 18 months, you can do it, but the problem is, the body is taking a toll on this and I need a lot of time to recover from hard training. So it's not easy and I am trying to adapt to it, but it's tough. But to come back in 2015, I think it is going to be a big miss for me."
Another obstacle is his duties as General Manager at the Singapore Athletic Association.
The workload is expected to get heavier as preparations for the 2015 SEA Games pick up.
But there is continuity - with 19-year-old national serviceman Wong Kai Yuen expected to carry on the tradition.
He broke the junior shot put record with a throw of 18.22 metres in November last year.
Wong Kai Yuen said: "18.22 was a good way to cap off my junior career, so now that we are looking at the senior category, I will be training more and throwing heavier weights, so that come 2015, I will be ready for competition."
Wong is also looking at bulking up, to add to his current 91-kilogramme frame.
The former Hwa Chong Institute student is also confident of breaking the senior shot-put record of 17.44 metres set by Dong EnXin in 2003.
In the senior category, heavier balls are used.
Wong Kai Yuen adds that there are more youngsters who are in their early teens with potential to be good throwers in future.
As for him, he will end his National Service commitment by early next year and have at least four months of full-time training before the 2015 SEA Games.