Tuesday, July 24, 2012 | | By: Febi

DIVING: Shining stars

BRIGHT CHANCE: Pandelela and Mun Yee under pressure to deliver

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PANDELELA Rinong made her entry into the national team only five years ago but she is now the brightest gem in Malaysian diving.

Pandelela has achieved many firsts for local diving and if the 19-year-old continues with her form, she could be Malaysia’s first Olympic medallist in the sport.

The Kuching-born diver will be hoping to cap her fine season with an Olympic medal but awaiting her in London is a host of world class divers, also hoping to make the podium.

It will be a busy Olympic session for the youngster as she will be down for three events—women’s 10m platform individual and synchro; and 3m springboard synchro — in London.

Pandelela, a Commonwealth Games champion, has a good chance of a medal in the platform synchro with Leong Mun Yee. The pressure is on them to deliver as they are the third ranked pair in the world.
Pandelela-Mun Yee first made history by becoming Malaysia’s first World Championship medallists, a bronze, in Rome, three years ago and continued their progress by finishing on the podium in several tournaments. “We are among the best in the world but we will have seven other polished pairs gunning for medals in our event in London. I do not want to put pressure on myself by saying we can win a medal.

“I believe that as long we execute our dives well, we will earn a good result. Mun Yee and I have been trying out new routines and I believe we are ready to push for medals,” said Pandelela, who was last year’s National Sportswoman of the Year.

Pandelela made her Olympic debut at the Beijing Games four years ago, but failed badly finishing 27th in the platform individual but since then she has improved tremendously.

“I was nervous in Beijing as it was my first Olympics. It was a tough competition but the experience has made me wiser. I know what to expect in London,” she said.

The Sea Games champion was more interested with toys than diving before a state coach handpicked her for aquatics when she was eight.

Pandelela was not a good swimmer and had to be taught the basics of floating before she took her first plunge from a springboard at nine and five years on, after winning several local diving competitions, was selected to join the national squad.

Her best achievement was winning the platform individual gold at the 2010 New Delhi Commonwealth Games by edging leading Australian diver Melissa Wu.
“That was my personal best. It was a glorious day not only for me but also for Malaysian diving,” said Pandelela, the Malaysian flag-bearer for the London Games.

Pandelela,abigfanofSouthKorean music and drama, has won medals in all major diving events except at the Olympics, which she hopes to achieve in London. As for Mun Yee, a veteran of three Olympics, will become only the second local athlete apart from sailor Kevin Lin to compete in four editions when she starts her campaign in London.

“This should be my last Olympics and I will try my best to win a medal.
“I have put off my semester studies each year when there is a major championships.
Many of my course mates are already working but I have yet to graduate,” said Mun Yee, who has been studying at Universiti Putra Malaysia for the last six years.
Mun Yee, who made her Olympic debut in Sydney, 12 years ago, plans to retire after London.


• Name: Leong Mun Yee
• Date of birth: December 4, 1984
• Place of birth: Ipoh
• Career achievements: Sea Games — 2001 Kuala Lumpur: four gold (3m springboard individual and synchro with Rosatimah Mohamed; and 10m platform individual and synchro with Rosatimah Mohamed); 2003 Hanoi: one gold (10m platform), one silver (10m platform synchro with Cheong Jun Hoong) and one bronze (3m springboard); 2005 Manila: two gold (10m platform individual and synchro with Cheong Jun Hoong), two silver (1m and 3m springboard) and one bronze (3m springboard synchro with Cheong Jun Hoong); 2007 Korat: two gold (1m springboard individual and synchro with Elizabeth Jimie) and one silver (3m spring board); 2009 Laos: two gold (3m springboard synchro with Wendy Ng; and 10m platform synchro) and one bronze (3m springboard); 2011 Palembang: two gold (3m springboard synchro with Wendy Ng and 10m platform synchro with Traisy Vivien); Asian Games — 2002 Busan: one bronze (3m springboard synchro with Farah Begum Abdullah); 2006 Doha: two bronze (3m springboard individual and synchro with Elizabeth Jimie); 2010 Guangzhou: two silver (3m springboard synchro with Wendy Ng and 10m platform synchro); Commonwealth Games — 2010 New Delhi: one silver (10m platform synchro); World Championships — 2009 Rome: one bronze (10m platform synchro); Diving World Series— 2011 Beijing leg: one silver (10m platform synchro); 2012 Dubai leg: one silver (10m platform synchro); Moscow leg: one bronze (10m platform synchro); Universiade — 2011 Shenzhen: one bronze (10m platform synchro); German Open — 2011: one gold (10m platform synchro)
• London expectations: A medal contender in the 10m platform synchro (with Pandelela Rinong).
• Competition date: July 31 (10m platform synchro with Pandelela Rinong).
 


• Name: Pandelela Rinong
• Date of birth: March 2, 1993
• Place of birth: Kuching
• Career achievements: Sea Games — 2007 Korat: one gold (10m platform synchro with Cheong Jun Hoong) and one silver (10m platform); 2009 Laos: two gold (10m platform individual and syn chro); 2011 Palembang: one gold (10m platform); Asian Games — 2010 Guangzhou: one silver (10m platform synchro) and one bronze (10m platform individual); Commonwealth Games — 2010 New Delhi: one gold (10m platform) and one silver (10m platform synchro); World Championships — 2009 Rome: one bronze (10m platform synchro); Diving World Series— 2011 Moscow leg: one silver (10m platform) Beijing leg: one silver (10m platform synchro); 2012 Dubai leg: one silver (10m platform synchro) and one bronze (10m platform); Beijing leg: one bronze (10m platform); Moscow leg: one bronze (10m platform synchro)

* Leong Mun Yee-Pandelela Rinong finished overall third on the tour rankings
Diving Grand Prix — 2010 Montreal leg: one gold (10m platform); Youth Olympics; 2010 Singapore: two silver (3m spring board and 10m platform); Universiade — 2011 Shenzhen: one silver (10m platform) and one bronze (10m platform synchro); German Open — 2011: one gold (10m platform synchro) and one silver (10m platform)
• London expectations: A medal contender in the 10m platform individual and synchro (with Leong Mun Yee).
• Competition dates: July 29 (3m springboard synchro with Cheong Jun Hoong); July 31 (10m platform synchro with Leong Mun Yee); Aug 8-9 (10m platform).
* All synchro medals won was with Leong Mun Yee unless stated

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