Silat: Shakir out of Asian C'ships

Singapore's Shakir Juanda (in blue) attacking his Vietnamese opponent in the SEA Games final last month. He lost 0-5 but, more than that, suffered a lateral collateral ligament tear in his right knee.
Singapore's Shakir Juanda (in blue) attacking his Vietnamese opponent in the SEA Games final last month. He lost 0-5 but, more than that, suffered a lateral collateral ligament tear in his right knee.PHOTO: HUANG XIAOLONG/ SPORT SINGAPORE

Injured silat star hopes to recover for next year's Asian Games & World Championships

Two-time silat world champion Shakir Juanda will likely give his quest for SEA Games gold one last shot, before leaving the competition mat for good.

Having spent 15 years in the sport, the 28-year-old intends to continue for at least until the 2019 edition in the Philippines.

"The plan is to retire after the 2019 SEA Games but we'll see how it goes after that," he told The Straits Times yesterday.

"I'm not sure yet, but I'll know when the time comes."

Shakir's hunt for gold last month in Kuala Lumpur - his sixth Games appearance - was derailed by a lateral collateral ligament tear in his right knee, suffered during his 0-5 loss in the tanding Class I (85-90kg) final to Vietnam's Nguyen Van Tri.

He will miss the rest of the season, including the Sept 21-26 Asian Championships in South Korea.

He said: "It's disappointing because it hinders me from competing and training." Still, he admitted it could be a blessing in disguise after a "hectic" two years, when he participated in about eight competitions.

"I'm not sure how long I'll be out for because I want to focus on my recovery," added Shakir, who yesterday went for an autologous conditioned plasma injection at Changi General Hospital.

It involves separating the platelets from the other blood cells before injecting them back into the body to speed up the healing.

He said: "I can start doing upper- body exercises to maintain my strength, and I believe that thinking positively will help my body recover faster."

At the 2015 Singapore SEA Games, he did not compete in the tanding event owing to a left knee injury. He also lost a final at the 2009 edition in Laos.

An old ankle injury had also resurfaced recently, but Shakir dismissed suggestions that his slew of injuries could speed up his plans for retirement.

"I want my body to recover fully before next year's World Championships and Asian Games," said the Sports Excellence scholar, who turns 29 next Saturday. "I still have a lot left in me and I want to get back (to competing) - it's the first time silat will feature in the Asian Games, and hopefully there can be a first gold for Singapore."

Singapore Silat Federation chief executive Sheik Alau'ddin believes Shakir will bounce back well.

"He's a tough guy. It's entirely up to him (whether he wants to continue competing). I give him my full support. He's starting his rehabilitation and strengthening himself so I think he should recover soon.

"He's not going to give up easily."

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on September 09, 2017, with the headline 'Shakir out of Asian C'ships'. Print Edition | Subscribe