Hong Kong high jumper and part-time model Cecilia Yeung Man-wai has vowed to return to competition, saying she hopes to be jumping again this year as she battles back from injury.
The Hong Kong record holder, whose fame also extends to the catwalk, ruptured the Achilles tendon on her right foot during practice at the Sports Institute in May.
"My rehabilitation process looks fine," said Yeung, who made her first public appearance after her injury at the opening of the Sports Fair in Kowloon Bay on Friday. "I can already walk without the plaster on my right leg and am working on a lot of physio treatment to strengthen the tendon and the calf.
"Hopefully I can run again some time next month and start jumping in November. I am fine."
Yeung, who turns 25 next month, was forced to miss the Inter-City Championships and the World University Games in Napoli this summer because of the injury.
"It was a very serious injury which I had never come across before," she said. "In fact, it was also the first time I have been sent to the operating theatre for surgery. I was quite unhappy when it happened, but gradually I have learned how to accept it as we know injury is part of the game for any athlete."
Yeung said the injury also gave her time to rethink her priorities in life.
"I was a high-tempo person but now I have learned how to slow it down a bit," she said. "I can spend some time on reading and do pottery, which I have never had time to do before.
"The injury also gives me more time to spend with my family, my mother and my younger brother and I enjoy that very much."
Yeung admitted she had no idea if she could regain the kind of form that helped her set a Hong Kong record of 1.88 metres in Taiwan two years ago. But she wants to stay positive as she recovers from what was initially a career-threatening injury.
"I only cried once, immediately after getting the injury because it was pretty scary but never again," she said. "There are also many high jumpers who suffered the same injury and can regain their best form. Fortunately, my injury was not on my jumping leg and hopefully it can make it easier to get back to my form."
Yeung cited the example of Italian high jumper Gianmarco Tamberi, who is also the country's national record holder.
"He won the 2016 World Indoor Championships and was aiming for an Olympic medal in Rio the same year but then he ruptured the Achilles tendon of his jumping leg in the Diamond League in Monaco," said Yeung.
"He was the favourite for the Rio Olympics. I heard he cried every night after the injury but now he is in his best form again and won the European Championships this year."
Yeung said she planned to compete in the Asian Indoor Championships early next year but it depended on her progress.
"I don't want to jump again just for the sake of getting back to competition. I want to make sure I stay competitive in regional level but it is still too early to say," she said.
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