MALAYSIA's hopes on Wong Mew Choo winning a gold medal in the SEA Games badminton competition has taken a severe blow. The top women's singles shuttler is down with a recurring knee injury and she has been ruled out of the team competition. And her participation in the individual event, where she is the top seed, now hangs in the balance. The Badminton Association of Malaysia (BAM) general manager, Kenny Goh, said yesterday that the injury to Mew Choo was serious. "She is certainly out of the team event (which begins on Saturday). But we will wait for a report from the NSI (National Sports Institute) before making a decision on her participation in the individual event (next week),” he said. The 24-year-old Mew Choo aggravated the injury en route to a sensational victory at the China Open in Guangzhou last month where she chalked up victories over the world's top players three players from China – Xie Xingfang, Zhang Ning and Zhu Lin. It was her first ever win over the Olympic champion Zhang Ning and reigning world champion Zhu Lin. And she was also the only second non-China player to win the China Open women's singles title. Coach Wong Tat Meng said that the 2003 Vietnam SEA Games gold medallist was not in her best condition. “She was already playing with knee pains during the China Open. It was more painful for her after the tournament. On top of that, her toe nail had also came off,” he said. “She went on to play in the Hong Kong Open but could not give her best (she was beaten by Salakjit Ponsana of Thailand in the first round). “I wanted to gauge her condition after the Hong Kong Open. I made her run on the treadmill. She just could not cope. She could hardly put pressure on her leg. She went to see the doctors today and has been told that she needs further treatment. “This is just unfortunate. Mew Choo was really looking forward to regaining the SEA Games title. We cannot take risks as she has a more important task – the Beijing Olympics.” Without Mew Choo, Malaysia will be hard-pressed to land a badminton gold medal. It is difficult for women's top pair Chin Eei Hui-Wong Pei Tty to stamp their mark in Korat because much would depend on the former, who is recovering from back and ankle injuries. Malaysia have an under-strength men's team spearheaded by Yeoh Kay Bin. It will be an uphill task for them in the company of a full-strength Indonesia, led by Taufik Hidayat.