No final day delight
THERE was no golden glitter for Malaysia on the final day of the diving competition at the Korat Sports Complex’s Aquatics Centre yesterday.
Fourteen-year-old Pandelela Rinong, the youngest in the diving competition, produced a worthy effort in the women’s 10m platform individual final, fighting her way from fourth position after the first three dives to secure the silver.
Pandelela chalked up the highest scores of 64.50 and 66.30 in the last two dives for a total of 308.85.
Indonesian Shenny Amelia led from start to finish to secure the only gold for her country in diving on 345.30.
Another Malaysian, Cheong Jun Hoong, earned a 61.50 in the final dive to beat Indonesia’s Herlyani Sukmahati to the bronze on 300.25.
In the men’s 10m platform synchronised competition, the new Malaysian pairing of Bryan Nickson-Ahmad Fakhri finished fourth on 353.73. The 15-year-old Ahmad, who was drafted into the national team five months ago, is the only diver in an eight-member team who will return home without a medal.
The Philippine pair of Fabriga Rexel-Jaime Asok retained the gold with a total of 376.32. It was also the second gold for the Philippines after Sheila Mae Perez’s victory over Malaysian Leong Mun Yee in the women’s 3m springboard event on Wednesday.
Vietnam also bagged their first diving medal in Korat when Nguyen Minh Sang-Vu Anh Duy took silver on 365.04. Indonesia’s Mohd Narullah-Husaini Noor took the bronze on 357.96.
Despite settling for the lesser medals on the final day of competition, the Malaysian diving team had every reason to walk tall and proud. The seven gold medals they won from the previous two days of competition were more than enough to put Malaysia as overall champions for the second successive time. The team also raked in three silver and three bronze medals.
At the last Games in Manila, Malaysia won five of the 10 gold medals at stake.
Coach Li Lijie was pleased with the performance of the divers in action yesterday.
“We were not really expecting our divers to bag gold medals in these last two events,” said Lijie.
“The Indonesian girl is more experienced and has a higher degree of difficulty in the women’s 10m platform. But I am happy Pandelela fought her way to the silver. As for Bryan and Fakhri, they had hardly been in training together. Bryan had to stay back in Kuala Lumpur while the whole team went to China and they only managed to put in a little bit of practice after they arrived here.
“Bryan is in a different class and it is difficult for Fakhri to follow him. We have to continue looking for a suitable partner for Bryan.”