The scar on her right knee is small, but when Rachel Yang awakes each morning, she feels its weighty significance in her 35-year-old bones.

Injury is the athlete’s unwanted yet inevitable companion. For most, competing while at 100 per cent fit is a rarity.

Yet it has been 13 months since Yang tore her anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) in a freak accident during pole vault training. With no cross bar available, she had used a TheraBand instead. But she got her legs entangled in it and twisted her right knee awkwardly in the process of trying to free herself.

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