Tuesday, August 7, 2012 | | By: Febi

Ken Nee is first Malaysian to reach diving final in the Olympics

YEOH Ken Nee continued to make Malaysian diving history yesterday – becoming the first Malaysian to qualify for the final of an individual event in the diving competition at the London Olympics.

On Monday, he became the first Malaysian diver to qualify for the semi-finals when he was placed ninth out of 29 divers in the men’s 3m springboard event. Only the top 18 made the semi-finals.

And now that he has qualified for the final, taking the 12th and last spot, Ken Nee has thrown down the gauntlet to the two younger divers in the national team – Bryan Nickson Lomas and Pandelela Rinong.

Eliminated: Malaysia's Huang Qiang did not get past the preliminary rounds in the men's 3m springboard event at the Aquatic Centre yesterday.Eliminated: Malaysia's Huang Qiang did not get past the preliminary rounds in the men's 3m springboard event at the Aquatic Centre yesterday.
 
He wants them to emulate his achievement and to draw inspiration from his performance to do well in their individual platform events.

Pandelela will take part in the preliminaries of the 10m platform today while Bryan will see action on Friday.

“I believe that I have, as a senior, set an example and now I want them to do well in their events.
“I hope that my achievement as the first Malaysian diver to enter the final will inspire them,” said Ken Nee, who scored a total of 441.61 points in the semi-finals.
He scored 452.60 points in the preliminaries.

Another Malaysian, Huang Qiang, failed to get past the preliminaries by one place after finishing in 19th spot with a score of 433.85.
Ken Nee was ecstatic after making the final.

“There have been a lot of firsts in the competition. I was the first semi-finalist from Malaysia and now I am the first finalist from our country as well. I just don’t have words to describe my feelings. They are indescribable. This is certainly a breakthrough for us in diving,” he said.

As for the final, Ken Nee said he plans to enjoy his dives “as they will be no pressure on me”.
“Look, there is no way I am going to get on the podium as the other divers are at a different level. It is a major achievement for me to have come this far,” he said.

“Of course I will give it my very best. No questions about that. But let’s be realistic.”
Malaysian coach Yang Zhuliang praised Ken Nee’s tremendous performance.

“I told him to concentrate on his dives and not to worry about his opponents. Of course, there were some mistakes, like in the fifth dive, in the semi-finals,” said Zhuliang.

“But, overall, he did as planned. I am sure that with a little more effort he can do better. This is an achievement for the team.”



, THE STAR

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