Sunday, July 22, 2012 | | By: Febi

Go out and impress ’em

PETALING JAYA: The national divers will fly to London tonight with high hopes of snaring a first-ever Olympic medal but well aware that their fate lies in the hands of a panel of judges dominated by Europeans.

China’s divers may have reigned supreme over the last two decades but, surprisingly, Asia have only one representative on the panel of 17 international judges picked for the Olympics.
Africa also have one and Australia two while the Americas have five, but Europe provide eight judges, not including one from the host country.

Don’t make mistakes: Coach Yang Zhuliang has told his divers to be on top of their game in the London Olympics.
The fact that China are the only Asian country to win medals in Olympic diving means our divers have their work cut out for them if they are to make the podium.

Head coach Yang Zhuliang said the divers have to be on top of their game.
“It’s all about impressing the judges and our divers only stand a chance if they don’t make any mistakes,” he said.

“We have been training them to be consistent so as to win over the judges. We have sent them to compete on the world circuit for the last few years as it is important for the international judges to recognise our divers,” said Zhuliang.

There will be seven judges sitting on the high chairs for individual events and 11 for the synchro disciplines.

Malaysia will have eight divers in London, the biggest representation at Olympic level.
The male divers are Bryan Nickson Lomas, Yeoh Ken Nee and Huang Qiang while Pandelela Rinong, who will be the flag-bearer for the opening ceremony this Friday, leads the women’s squad.
The others are Cheong Jun Hoong, Traisy Vivien Tukiet, Wendy Ng Yan Yee and veteran Leong Mun Yee, who will be making her fourth Olympic appearance.

The divers have spent the past two months training in China where Zhuliang placed emphasis on perfecting their routines.

“We worked on the synchro disciplines where we have a better chance of a medal as the finals take place straight away.

“It’s tough as five or six pairs are in contention in a synchro final. But our divers have a chance if they can control their dives,” he added.

Malaysia have qualified for the synchro disciplines for the first time in the Olympics, with representation in three of the four synchro finals – men’s 3m springboard (Huang Qiang-Bryan), women’s 3m springboard (Pandelela-Jun Hoong) and women’s 10m platform (Pandelela-Mun Yee).
Pandelela and Jun Hoong will be the first Malaysian divers in action when they make the plunge in the women’s 3m springboard synchro on Sunday.

The divers returned home from China on Saturday to pick up their accreditation before heading to London.



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