She is a lovely dentist wearing a white robe; she is a serious umpire of an international table tennis match when she takes off her white robe and sits in the umpire's seat. The 32-year-old Dr. Elaine Lim was selected to go to the Tokyo Olympics to perform missions and was the first female table tennis, international umpire, in Malaysia to stand on Olympics arena.
Dr. Elaine Lim from Jitra, Kedah, is the blue badge umpire of the World Table Tennis Federation. She is the youngest among the nearly 25 table tennis umpires in Tokyo Olympics. At the same time, it has been 17 years since the previous Malaysian table tennis umpire was selected to the 2004 Olympic Games.
Dr. Elaine Lim was born in a family of table tennis, and her parents loved table tennis. She has been playing table tennis since she was 7 years old. She became a state table tennis umpire at the age of 15 and became an International Table Tennis umpire at the age of 21. She is currently a blue badge umpire of the International Table Tennis Federation.
At a young age, she has been an umpire in a number of international table tennis competitions from 2013 to 2019, including being invited to be a table tennis umpire at the Youth Olympic Games.
Dr. Elaine Lim, who is currently in Tokyo Olympics, said in an interview with Guangming Daily that standing in the Olympic Games is the most desirable venue for athletes, umpires, and staff.
"This is my dream and a very clear goal I pursue. Over the years, I have been working hard towards this goal, and now I have finally accomplished it."
She said that she loves table tennis, but she is not a professional player. At elementary school, she only represented her school in games and was a state player, and she represented in friendly matches when she was in college.
She said that she needed to focus on her studies, so she didn't want to be a full-time player.
After obtaining the Bachelor of Dental Surgery from the University of Malaya in 2012, Dr Lim obtained her Diploma of Membership of the Faculty of Dental Surgery, Royal College of Surgeons of Edinburgh (MFDS RCS Ed.) in 2015. After that, she was awarded the Fellowship of International Congress of Oral Implantologists (ICOI) in 2018. In the following year, she received both the Fellowship of The International College of Dentists (ICD) and the ICOI Mastership, hence her recognition as “Master of Implant Prosthodontics” by the ICOI. Currently, Dr Lim is a PhD scholar in the Department of Oral and Maxillofacial Clinical Sciences, Faculty of Dentistry, University of Malaya (UM), with keen interest in the area of implant dentistry.
However, as a dental surgeon, she has never given up on pursuing her dreams. Over the years, she has worked hard for table tennis umpiring. It took 11 years to be an umpire in different international competitions to accumulate experience, maintain a high level of umpire performance, and be selected to be the umpire in Olympics, which could be a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.
Coronavirus hits the world, and Tokyo is hosting a grand Olympics at this time. High-level pandemic prevention measures have attracted global attention. Dr. Elaine Lim praised the organizer's anti-pandemic measures, which allowed her and the athletes to work with peace of mind.
She said that the umpire was arranged to stay in a hotel, one person one room, three meals, and transportation to and from the stadium are all properly arranged. During this period, they are not allowed to go out without permission.
"We need to perform RT-PCR testing every day, Before and after the match, every table tennis ball is strictly disinfected, and at the end of each game, The organisers are very serious about disinfection."
She said that she was vaccinated in Malaysia in April, and her mother Cheong Kim Eng (67 years old) and her sister (Lim Ee Koon) were also vaccinated. As a doctor herself, she always reminds herself to take preventive measures.
She revealed that her father died in a car accident 9 years ago, leaving her to live with her mother and sister. But fortunately, the three of them have been taken care of by their uncle Datuk Chong Chim Tiong and encouraged her and her sister to work hard to learn and pursue their dreams.
Dr. Elaine Lim Umpire Record
- 2013 and 2017: Served as a table tennis umpire in the Southeast Asian Games in Myanmar (2013) and Malaysia (2017).
- 2014: Invited as a table tennis Umpire for the Youth Olympic Games and elected one of 12 international Umpires.
- 2014 and 2015: Selected as the international umpire for the World Junior Table Tennis Championships in China and France.
- 2016 and 2019: Selected as an international umpire for the World Table Tennis Championships in Kuala Lumpur and Budapest.
- From 2013 to 2019: Go to Japan, South Korea, Austria, Sweden and other countries to be the international umpire of the World Tour Table Tennis Tournament.