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Wednesday October 16, 2013 MYT 4:19:00 PM
Wednesday October 16, 2013 MYT 4:21:32 PM
by lim teik huat
Yang Zhuliang giving pointers to Pandelela Rinong at the 2012 Olympics in London. Zhuliang's PR status should see him remain here until the Rio Olympics.
PETALING JAYA: After spending almost a decade in Malaysia, diving head coach Yang Zhuliang has been given PR (permanent resident) status.
And it is a good enough reason for the Chinese coach to stay on to realise a dream to produce an Olympic gold medallist diver for the country.
Zhuliang revealed he was granted PR status after returning with the team from the World Championships in Barcelona in July.
“I have PR status and it is better now as I do not need to apply for a visa every time we go to China for training.
“I do not have to worry so much as it is easier for me to bring my whole family here and save when it comes to hospital costs as I have parents to take care of.
“I have plans to bring my daughter here for her further education as well.
“My focus now is on helping Malaysia continue to do well in diving at the 2016 Olympics in Rio.
“We want to fight for a gold if possible in the future but there is a lot of work to be done,” said Zhuliang, who has already achieved the goal of helping Malaysia win medals at the regional and Asian levels as well as the world stage.
The Chinese first came here in 2001 but migrated to Australia in 2005 after he was given citizenship.
He was persuaded to return here in 2009 and has taken Malaysian diving from obscurity to the second best in Asia after China.
Pandelela Rinong also made history by bagging a bronze medal in the women’s 10m platform event at the London Olympics last year, making diving the first sport apart from badminton to win a medal at the Olympics.
Pandelela is also the first female Olympic medal winner for Malaysia and has partnered Leong Mun Yee to bag the bronze twice at the World Championships in the platform synchro discipline.
Zhuliang is already half-way through a two-year extension contract with the National Sports Council (NSC) and the PR status should see him remain here until the Rio Olympics.
The 48-year-old coach said the diving team will head to Guangzhou to train for at least a month before heading to the Myanmar SEA Games in December.
“We requested to remain in China for two months but I think the NSC wanted the divers to come back first before the SEA Games.
“The training stint is not just for the SEA Games but also part of the preparations towards the Asian and Commonwealth Games, which are more important for us.
“It is crucial for youngsters like Mohd Nazreen, Ahmad Amsyar and Nur Dhabitah Sabri to go for the training stint as I consider them medal prospects for the SEA Games alongside the seniors.”
Malaysia won seven out of the eight gold medals at stake in diving at the last SEA Games in Indonesia two years ago.
Tags / Keywords:
diving, dive, diver, Yang Zhuliang, Pandelela Rinong, Rio Olympics, London Olympics
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