THE national diving team are pumped up to plunge into the history books at the London Olympics after a successful two-month training stint in Dali, China.
The Olympic-bound divers, comprising Bryan Nickson Lomas, Yeoh Ken Nee, Huang Qiang, Pandelela Rinong, Leong Mun Yee, Cheong Jun Hoong, Traisy Vivien Tukiet and Wendy Ng are in good form to earn Malaysia's first Olympic medal in the sport.
Lomas-Huang Qiang and Pandelela-Mun Yee, after successful outings in world class meets of late, are medal contenders in the men's 3m springboard and women's 10m platform synchro disciplines respectively.
Pandelela, a medallist in this season's World Series and Diving Grand Prix, is also a potential medallist in the platform individual.
Lomas and Pandelela, the two biggest names in local diving, have ironed out their weaknesses. They are now making cleaner enftries into the water and also executing the arm stand routine, regarded as the toughest move in the sport, without hiccups.
National coach Yang Zhuliang said his divers are focused on making an impact in London. "My divers are in their best possible shape as they have mastered everything there is to learn. I believe, they will pose a serious threat to the medal contenders," said Zhuliang at the National Sports Council Gym in Bukit Jalil yesterday.
"Lomas is making cleaner entries into the water while Pandelela is executing her routine from the arm stand position more confidently. The others have also made progressed."
China, who won seven of the eight medals on offer in the Beijing edition four years ago, are expected to dominate proceedings, followed by Canada, Mexico, Australia, Russia, Great Britain and the United States.
Malaysia are considered outsiders, but if they win a medal, they will be only the second Asian nation after China to make the podium. No Malaysian has made the semi-finals at the Olympics since their debut in 2000 in Sydney.
Zhuliang said his divers will be medal contenders if they execute their dives flawlessly. "One needs to be flawless to beat China for the gold while one cannot make more than two or three mistakes to make the podium.
"The competition is greater in London compared to before. I have prepared my divers for the unexpected and I hope they will make an impression in London," Zhuliang added.