ANDELELA Rinong-Leong Mun Yee failed to produce their best when it mattered most as they finished seventh in the 10m platform synchro at the Aquatics Centre yesterday.
Pandelela Rinong (left) and Leong Mun Yee finished seventh in the 10m platform synchro yesterday.
The duo were among those expected to end Malaysia's over-dependence on badminton for medals at the Olympics but three poor dives, which came after they had moved into third place, proved very costly against a top quality field.
Both made mistakes and as coach Yang Zheliang had said, this had to be avoided but unfortunately, Pandelela-Mun Yee failed to heed his warning.
"The turning points were the third and fifth dives which cost us as we failed to execute our routines as well as we know we can. We are both very sad that we failed to do well," said Pandelela. Mun Yee said both made individual mistakes in their dives.
"We could and should have scored higher in the third, fourth and fifth dives but I suppose we were nervous," said Mun Yee, whose fourth and final appearance at the Olympics didn't end the way she wanted -- with a medal.
They started well enough, scoring 52.80 with their first dive, which left them in fifth spot but within touching distance of even the awesome China pair Chen Ruolin-Wang Hao, who opened with a 53.40. The second dive saw Pandelela-Mun Yee scoring 54.00, which moved them up to third in the field of eight pairs and sent hopes soaring as the feeling was that they could only get better.
That, however, proved to be a mere assumption -- as far as the Malaysians were concerned that is - for as other pairs got stronger, Pandelela-Mun Yee's form deserted them.
The third dive saw Pandelela failing to straighten her legs before making entry into the water and the judges were unforgiving, giving them a mere 70.20 which saw them drop back to fifth.
There was still hope though for Malaysia as they were just 4.8 points away from the bronze medal position but, yet again, they failed to produce with their fourth dive and scored only 60.48 to drop to seventh.
Pandelela-Mun Yee needed a huge fifth dive to perhaps steal into the bronze medal position but didn't deliver, scoring 71.04 as Canadians Roseline Filion-Meahgan Benfeito snatched the bronze away from Australia with a final score of 337.62.
China's Chen Ruolin-Wang Hao scored a total 368.40 for the gold while Mexico's Alejandra Orozco Loza-Paola Espinosa Sanchez (343.32) took the silver. Malaysia's total was 308.52. Malaysia's medal hopes, though, are not dashed as Bryan Nickson Lomas-Huang Qiang will be in action in the 10m platform synchro today.