HE London Aquatics Centre brought back pleasant memories for the national diving team who tested the Olympic venue for the first time yesterday as only five months ago they made history at the same arena in the World Cup.
Diving team (from left) Pandelela Rinong, Leong Mun Yee, Bryan Nickson Lomas and Huang Qiang.
It was the most defining competition for the divers as their breakthrough performances earned them the respect of other nations. Malaysia, regarded as the most improved nation in diving, are now serious contenders for medals.
Bryan Nickson Lomas-Huang Qiang topped Malaysia's splendid performance at the World Cup by winning an historic bronze medal in the men's 10m platform synchro.
Pandelela Rinong also had a memorable outing by qualifying for the 3m springboard (with Cheong Jun Hoong) and the platform (with Leong Mun Yee) synchro disciplines.
The eight-member team, also comprising Yeoh Ken Nee, Traisy Vivien Tukiet and Wendy Ng, had two training sessions at the London Aquatics Centre yesterday. They, however, could not do much as they were sharing the arena with other countries.
The team are in high spirits following several breakthrough performances of late and coach Yang Zhuliang believes they are good enough for Olympic medals.
Amateur Swimming Union of Malaysia (ASUM) has confidently targeted two medals of any colour from diving.
"Our divers had their first training session today (yesterday) but shared it with other countries and thus did only light conditioning," said ASUM secretary Edwin Chong.
"It is, however, not a problem as they had a great outing at the venue during the World Cup. They will have at least three training sessions before the competition."
The divers also brought dry mats to London for conditioning purposes. Huang Qiang said as divers are not allowed to practice at the venue during competition, they will do light training using the dry mats at the athletes' village.
"We will maintain our training regime throughout the competition as only through discipline and focus, we can make an impression," said Huang Qiang.
Pandelela-Jun Hoong will compete in the eight-pair women's 3m springboard synchro final on Sunday's first day of competition.