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Sun, Aug 22, 2010
YOG
Singapore diver Myra Lee Jia Wen uses national pride to push through the pain barrier

Singapore diver Myra Lee Jia Wen showed remarkable courage to overcome a debilitating back injury and compete in the youth women's 10m platform final on Saturday night at Toa Payoh Swimming Complex.

Lee, who finished last in the final, 205.65 points behind winner Liu Jiao of China, had a precautionary x-ray hours before the final after aggravating a hyper-extended back injury in the preliminary round. The injury was serious enough for Gilmore to consider withdrawing her diver from the event, but Lee had the final say.

"We went and got her back x-rayed (Saturday) afternoon between events to make sure there was nothing wrong with the skeleton," Singapore diving coach Orla Gilmore (GBR) said.

"The doctor cleared her medically, so it came down to her will, and she was very determined (to continue).

"Had it been another competition of less importance, I probably wouldn't have let her dive."

The 16-year-old's back injury compromised her ability to control her body and on takeoffs for her dives.

"These two things combined are not very good, and obviously, on a 10m dive, the impact can be quite large on the body," Gilmore said.

Lee pushed through the pain to continue despite the injury potentially having serious effects on her dive and safety.

"It was difficult because I couldn't arch my back," Lee said after the final.

"Three of the four dives I was completing for the final required me to arch my back, and I couldn't get much height (off the platform)."

Lee said the support of those close to her helped her through.

"My friends bought a lot of tickets and my mum bought a couple of tickets and gave them away to family, relatives and friends," she said.

"I saw their faces smiling at me (from the top of the platform), and it made me feel more relaxed."

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