Taking a pain-killing injection every day to compete: Mah Li Lian recalls her time at the SEA Games

To celebrate the Games, ST asked some of Singapore's finest athletes to reflect on their most memorable moments. In the third of a five-part series, former national squash player Mah Li Lian talks about the challenges she faced.

SPH Brightcove Video
Former national squash player Mah Li Lian recalls a painful time at the Chiang Mai Games in 1995.

There are all manner of champions in our midst. 

With three SEA Games individual golds and four Asian championship titles, Mah Li Lian, now 53, is arguably Singapore's greatest female squash player.

She tells current athletes that if "you put your foot down" then they will be able to achieve anything - literally referring to the most memorable but yet most painful of her five SEA Games.

She recalls with mirth that she had to take as many as seven or eight pain-killing injections before each match at Chiang Mai 1995. But it paid off as she won her third individual gold and Singapore also took the women's team silver.

Even as the 31st SEA Games have begun in Hanoi and Singaporeans look forward, there is also a joy in looking back. These Games are a tradition and today's modern heroes walk down the paths laid down by previous champions.

And so to celebrate the Games, we asked a section of Singapore's finest athletes to reflect on their most memorable moments: One got his hand burnt while running with the torch. Every tale matters because each one is a thread in the tapestry of Singapore sport.

This five-part video series will run every three days on ST's sport page.

Join ST's Telegram channel and get the latest breaking news delivered to you.