SEA Games: After a knee injury sank Daryl Chia's chances in 2017, a love for rugby pushed him to keep going

The 2019 SEA Games is special for Daryl Chia after the national rugby player missed out on the 2015 and 2017 SEA Games because of studies and a knee injury respectively.
Daryl Chia during a break in training at the Queenstown Stadium recently. He was tempted to quit after his ACL injury in 2017 but overcame his setback and is now back in form. ST PHOTO: MARK CHEONG
Daryl Chia during a break in training at the Queenstown Stadium recently. He was tempted to quit after his ACL injury in 2017 but overcame his setback and is now back in form.ST PHOTO: MARK CHEONG

The comeback is one of sports' most demanding character tests. In a continuing series, The Straits Times charts the varying journeys of five remarkable SEA Games athletes. After a knee injury sank Daryl Chia's chances in 2017, a love for rugby pushed him to keep going

The ACL, or anterior cruciate ligament, is a celebrated band of hardy tissue in the knee. It's just under 4cm long and when it tears it audibly announces its disintegration. Which means that rugby sevens player Daryl Chia could hear his future collapsing even before he actually felt it.

Snap, he heard.

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A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on November 27, 2019, with the headline 'Tough guy won't snap'. Print Edition | Subscribe