Injury might jeopardize Philippine diver Olympics quest 2008-07-30 18:31:30   Print

Special report: 2008 Olympic Games

    LOS BANOS, the Philippine, July 30 (Xinhua) -- Philippine diver Ryan Fabriga has been suffering bad waist injury and might be forced to drop out half-way in the Beijing Olympic Games, which is only less than 10 days away, his coach said Wednesday.

    "Ryan's injuries have seriously slowed down his training and will definitely affect his performance in Beijing," Zhang Dehu, the head coach of Philippine national diving team, said.

    "The worst scenario is that he can't finish his dive in Beijing but we hope that won't happen," Zhang told Xinhua in an interview at the Philippine aquatics training center in Los Banos, Laguna province.

    Zhang said Fabriga hurt his waist during a recent training in the northwestern Chinese city of Xi'an, in one of the training camps of China's powerful Olympic diving team.

    Zhang, who trained China's Olympic gold medalist Gao Min 11 years ago before coming to the Philippines, said the 3-week China training was considered instrumental to fine-tuning Filipino divers for the Games, but unfortunately Fabriga did not come out well.

    Fabriga will participate in the highly-competitive men's individual 10-meter platform diving in Beijing Games. He ranked outside top 35 in this category and was aiming to enter the top 12in the first Olympics participates.

    "My waist really hurts, but I think I can bear the pain and get it over," 23-year-old Fabriga said, admitting that there is no doubt the injury is going to affect his performance.

    Zhang said Fabriga is now on pain-killers and only takes very basic trainings for recovery.

    Meanwhile, Sheila Mae Perez, the most achieving diver the Philippines has ever produced, said after hard trainings in Xi'an she is more ready to rival Chinese and Western divers in Beijing.

    A five-time gold medalist in Southeast Asia Games, Perez said she was after a medal in the women's individual 3-meter springboard, the division in which she currently ranks 16.

    Zhang said Perez secured her ticket to Beijing Games by an almost perfect finish of the difficult dive 4-0-5-B. "That plunge is really something and if she could do that again in Beijing Perez has no problem entering the top 12, which is already an impressive achievement for Philippine diving," he said.

    Though she dropped some weight and improved her techniques in Xi'an, Perez still needs some catch-ups before reaching her best conditions, Zhang said. "We will work on that but the most important thing is prevent her from injuries."

    "It is an honor to perform for the country, and I will do all my best," Perez said.

Editor: Pliny Han
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