KUALA LUMPUR - Lucas Ng had won a SEA Games silver medal in the men's 1,000m short track speed skating on Wednesday (Aug 30) and it was only after he had crossed the finish line that the secret was finally revealed.
The final, held in Kuala Lumpur's Empire City Mall, saw the 28-year-old Singaporean finish second with a time of 1:55.185, a fraction of a second behind Thailand's gold medallist Triphop Thongngam (1:55.127). Malaysia's Hazim Shahrum was third (1:57.870).
After the race, Singapore Ice Skating Association president Sonja Chong revealed why Ng had been competing in the SEA Games with a bandaged right hand - It was to protect a serious injury which he sustained while training in South Korea about 1 1/2 weeks ago.
Then, the skater in front of Ng fell and accidentally slashed Ng's hand, severing a tendon. The injury required surgery, which was performed on Aug 20, nine days before he competed in Kuala Lumpur, and 10 stitches were required to close the wound.
Said Chong: "We're actually very proud of what he's managed to do given that he's been skating with his hand all taped up, but Lucas did very well."
Singapore's short track speed skaters won four silvers on the second and final day of the 29th SEA Games competition on Wednesday.
This takes the sport's overall tally to four silvers and one bronze.
It also means Team Singapore's 568-strong contingent ended the 12-day affair with 57 gold, 58 silver and 73 bronze medals to finish fourth in the 11-nation table.
The contingent's sterling performance drew praise from President Tony Tan Keng Yam, who posted a congratulatory message on Facebook.
President Tan said: "The 29th SEA Games in Kuala Lumpur comes to a close today. My congratulations to the Team Singapore contingent, whose marvellous performance with 57 gold medals to date has already surpassed Singapore's record of gold medals at an away SEA Games!
"All in all, this has been a memorable Games. Our athletes have overcome individual setbacks, broken records, achieved personal bests and forged friendships with their fellow athletes from neighbouring countries. I am certain that these experiences and memories will stay with them for life.
"Happy to also see Singaporeans from all walks of life coming together to cheer on our athletes, by supporting them in person or watching their competitions on television. Sport truly unites people!"