PETALING JAYA — Olympian and national sabre fencer, Yu Peng Kean finally called it quits after battling with a knee injury for six years.
Peng Kean, who sprang a surprise by being the first Malaysian in 48 years to compete at the 2012 London Olympics, will not be able to fulfill his mission for a medal at the upcoming Kuala Lumpur SEA Games on Aug 19-31.
“I first got injured after the 2011 Jakarta Games, and then I had a reoccurrence of the same injury again during training at the end of 2014,” said Peng Kean.
“It seems to be getting worse, but I still opted to compete at the 2015 Singapore SEA Games and got injured again. I went for my second operation right after that.”
Peng Kean had ACL (Anterior Cruciate Ligament) surgery on both knees after the London Olympics and hasn’t been able to recover much since then.
Even after the second operation, 25-year-old still struggled to recover and had to take injections and pain killers just to hold up.
The Malacca-born Peng Kean had planned to compete at the Kuala Lumpur Games to improve on the bronze he bagged after losing to Vietnam’s Vu Thanh Anh in the men’s individual sabre semifinal two years ago at the Singapore Games.
He also settled for bronze at the 2011 Jakarta Games.
“Whatever it is, my knees just cant cope or take it anymore. There is nothing I can do about it,” said Peng Kean.
“If I choose to compete, the injury will come back and it could be worse.
“Post retirement, I will proceed with my life and take up coaching at a fencing club in Sri Petaling.”
Peng Kean, who won the team sabre gold with Liong Ming Chang and Muhd Radhi Hasim at the Jakarta Games, is optimistic Malaysia can clinch gold this August.
“I believe in my teammates, Joshua Koh and Natasha Ezzra Abu Bakar who can win gold.
“Plus I’m also certain they can qualify for the 2020 Olympics in Japan too. There is a bright future for fencing in Malaysia.
“Even as I am no longer an athlete, I will still be around to lend support and give advice to the national fencers,” he said.