Battle scars won't stop athletes from chasing their sporting dreams

BENT FINGER: Nurul Baizura's ring finger remains bent after she caught a netball awkwardly in 2014. She even had to put her wedding ring on her right hand.
BENT FINGER: Nurul Baizura's ring finger remains bent after she caught a netball awkwardly in 2014. She even had to put her wedding ring on her right hand.ST PHOTO: ARIFFIN JAMAR
13 STITCHES: Diver Mark Lee received 13 stitches after he slipped on the board and it rebounded and hit his foot. Missing the 2014 Asian Games in Incheon is what hurt him the most.
13 STITCHES: Diver Mark Lee received 13 stitches after he slipped on the board and it rebounded and hit his foot. Missing the 2014 Asian Games in Incheon is what hurt him the most.PHOTO COURTESY OF MARK LEE
BLOOD BLISTERS: Blood blisters form now and then on rower Saiyidah Aisyah's palms. She tapes them but sometimes they burst and result in red smudges on her oars.
BLOOD BLISTERS: Blood blisters form now and then on rower Saiyidah Aisyah's palms. She tapes them but sometimes they burst and result in red smudges on her oars.PHOTO COURTESY OF SAIYIDAH AISYAH
SLICED HAND: Speed skater Lucas Ng's hand was sliced open after an accident on the track, but he was calm enough to take some of the photographs of his hand himself. Eleven stitches and 11 days later, he won silver at the 2017 SEA Games.
SLICED HAND: Speed skater Lucas Ng's hand was sliced open after an accident on the track, but he was calm enough to take some of the photographs of his hand himself. Eleven stitches and 11 days later, he won silver at the 2017 SEA Games.PHOTO COURTESY OF LUCAS NG
BROKEN BONES: Cyclist Teh Jing Long suffered multiple injuries and was in a hospital for over two months after a crash last year. He has now returned to competitive cycling.
BROKEN BONES: Cyclist Teh Jing Long suffered multiple injuries and was in a hospital for over two months after a crash last year. He has now returned to competitive cycling.PHOTO COURTESY OF TEH JING LONG

Torn ligaments, cut lips and broken bones are just part of the athlete's life. As Rohit Brijnath discovered, they shrug, swear, get stitched up, swallow pain and keep chasing their dreams

When a 40cm steel blade meets the human hand, the skin unzips. A long gash opens up along the hand like a road that tears open during an earthquake. You can see inside a person. It isn't pretty and I know this because of the photos arriving on my phone.

Ping. Ping. Ping.

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A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Sunday Times on August 05, 2018, with the headline 'Battle scars'. Print Edition | Subscribe