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Wednesday December 18, 2013 MYT 7:16:00 PM
Wednesday December 18, 2013 MYT 8:11:30 PM
by starsport team
Diver Mohd Nazreen Abdullah won gold in the men's 10m platform event at the SEA Games with 398.05 points. - KAMARUL ARIFFIN / The Star
NAYPYITAW: Mohd Nazreen Abdullah is only 1.47m tall and shorter than his senior Ooi Tze Liang despite standing on top of the podium.
But height was not on the 15-year-old’s mind as he stood on the podium grinning from ear to ear after pulling off a shock win in the men’s individual 10m platform competition at the Wunna Theikdi Aquatic Centre here on Wednesday.
Nazreen was not overwhelmed by the occasion of his SEA Games debut and executed all six dives well to beat his more illustrious senior, who is five years older, to claim gold on 398.05 points.
Tze Liang did his best to overtake Nazreen as he narrowed a 15-point gap with one dive to go.
But in the end, Tze Liang had to settle for silver for the second consecutive SEA Games with 397.20 points.
Tze Liang, who is competing in all four events in diving, won the silver behind Bryan Nickson Lomas at the last SEA Games in Palembang two years ago.
He was seen as the candidate to defend the 10m individual title for Malaysia but it was pint-sized Nazreen, who tips the scales at 43kg, who unexpectedly became the star of the day.
Nazreen had not even started diving when Bryan won the first of his four successive individual platform titles in Manila in 2005.
“I did not expect this,” he said, showing off his gold medal.
“This is my best ever performance in the platform event and I have to thank my senior Tze Liang for encouraging me in training all this while,” said Nazreen, who hails from Kuala Lumpur.
He was roped into the national elite squad early this year and has put up encouraging performances at the international level.
Nazreen was ninth at the World Junior Championships in Adelaide last year and finished fifth at the Asian Youth Games in Nanjing this year.
He admitted the two training stints in China this year helped him a lot.
“I managed to raise my DD (degree of difficulties) in my dives but still I did not expect this,” he added.
Tze Liang will bid to bounce back when he competes in the men’s 3m springboard on Thursday while Olympic bronze medallist Pandelela Rinong should cruise to the women’s 10m platform gold.
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