Monday, July 30, 2012 | | By: Febi

D-day for diving duo Pandelela and Mun Yee

WILL Malaysia finally land their first medal of the London Olympics today? Will all the hype about the sports, other than badminton, providing medals come true?

Divers Pandelela Rinong and Leong Mun Yee may provide the answer when they go into action in the women’s synchronised 10m platform at the Aquatics Centre at the Olympic Park today.
So far, it has been one negative story after another as our athletes fall by the wayside. Only the doubles pair of Koo Kien Keat and Tan Boon Heong have provided some cheer by making it to the quarter-finals.

In fact, their early performances suggest they could win a medal as badminton, once again, proves to be the only sport Malaysians can rely on to deliver at the Olympics.
But Pandelela and Mun Yee are considered serious medal prospects in their pet event and it would be a huge boost to the contingent if they do succeed.

Thus, at 11pm today, Malaysians can see if the nation will finally be delivered a medal. Even a gold – if some of the officials are to be believed.
But the divers themselves do not promise anything other than to say that they will do their level best.
Pandelela competed in the synchronised 3m springboard with Cheong Jun Hoong on Sunday. It is not an event they excel in and was more a trial run for the other challenges ahead. So it was no surprise that they finished last in the eight-team contest.

These girls are level-headed and know exactly what to do. They will not put unnecessary pressure on themselves although they are single-minded in their purpose.
Tonight will tell if their faith and dedication match their ability to perform at the very highest stage.
The others in the contingent still in contention will be looking to take their cue from Pandelela and Mun Yee.

So far shooting, fencing and the road racers are done with the Games.
Shooter Nur Suryani Taibi and fencer Yu Peng Kean did well under the circumstances but they were clearly out of their league against the world’s best.

The eight-month pregnant Suryani gave it her best shot and is an inspiration to all Malaysians, not only the women.

Hopefully, these athletes will learn from the experience and take their game to the next level.
Road racers Adiq Hussaine Othman and Amir Mustafa Rusli were here just for the experience. They did not pretend to be medal prospects and did not even finish the race. Time will tell if they learnt anything from their London adventure.

Otherwise, competing in an arena like the Olympics will always remain a learning curve.
And that elusive gold medal will remain out of reach.


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