SEA Games 2019: 1 day to go

Shinta Mulia Sari: Birth of a battler

After coming out of retirement this year, Shinta Mulia Sari won gold with her teammate Crystal Wong at the Mongolia International Challenge 2019. The national badminton player aims to give her best at what might be her last SEA Games.
Shinta Mulia Sari is eager to make up for time lost, having spent three years away from the badminton court to raise her son. The shuttler will be playing her seventh SEA Games in the Philippines.
Shinta Mulia Sari is eager to make up for time lost, having spent three years away from the badminton court to raise her son. The shuttler will be playing her seventh SEA Games in the Philippines.ST PHOTO: MARK CHEONG

The comeback is one of sport's most demanding character tests. The Straits Times charts the varying journeys of five remarkable SEA Games athletes in a series that ends today.

Shinta Mulia Sari's teammates were shocked during a recent training session when, instead of smiling and chatting like she usually does, the Singapore shuttler wore an expression of intense concentration that verged on being "fierce".

Laughing, the 31-year-old told The Straits Times: "The younger girls asked me why I looked so fierce and why I didn't want to smile, and I said, 'Because I have no time to smile at you'."

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A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on November 29, 2019, with the headline 'SEA Games 2019: Birth of a battler'. Print Edition | Subscribe