Published: Saturday December 21, 2013 MYT 4:21:00 PM
Updated: Saturday December 21, 2013 MYT 4:32:15 PM

Judging is fun for Ken Nee, stressful for Kelvin

Ex-Olympian Yeoh Ken Nee is now a diving judge after retiring from the sport last year after the London Olympic Games. - EPA

Ex-Olympian Yeoh Ken Nee is now a diving judge after retiring from the sport last year after the London Olympic Games. - EPA

NAYPYITAW: As judges, Yeoh Ken Nee and Kelvin Chong know they cannot answer nature’s call once the diving competition begins.

But they are nonchalant about it all, taking everything in their strides.

Ken Nee quit competitive diving after the London Olympics last year – where he made the individual 3m springboard final – and has since taken up coaching duties with the back-up squad.

At the same time, Ken Nee has also taken up judging duties – thus his presence in the all-white shirt and pants at the Wunna Theikdi Aquatic Centre in Naypyitaw.

Ken Nee is loving every moment of his experience from the high chair, saying “everything is a new learning process compared to my competitive days in previous SEA Games”.

“I sat for the exams ... and there were not enough judges for diving this time from the region. It is a new experience for me and I’m still learning.

“I sat for the basic examination before I was allowed to be a judge ... the knowledge is useful,” said the 30-year-old.

But this isn’t the first for Kelvin. He was a judge at the World Championships in Barcelona in July.

The Kuala Lumpur-born Kelvin, who was in a pool of 29 judges for the world meet, described his time as a judge in Barcelona as “quite stressful”.

“Getting selected for a competition is not a privilege as FINA (the governing body for aquatics) have expectations and want to ensure no one deviates from the rest of the panel,” said Kelvin, who was the only Malaysian judge at the world meet.

Kelvin, who spent 6½ years learning the art of judging before becoming a certified judge in 2008, said that “being alert at all times when I’m sitting on the high chair is of utmost priority”.

“I have to make sure I eat the right food and clear my bladder before the competition starts. I cannot leave the pool once the competition begins,” he said.

“The preliminaries for a big event can last up to two hours, especially when there is a big field of divers ... so, it can be quite stressful sitting up there.

“We have to watch the divers right from their starting steps until he or she jumps from the board.”

Asked what the judges would look out for, Kelvin pointed out that a diver cannot take too long to perform his or her routine.

“They can get a warning ... next is to deduct points. We also look out for divers doing different routines from the sets they submitted earlier as this will be recorded as failed dives,” he said.

From divers to judges, Ken Nee and Kelvin continue to do Malaysia proud.

Tags / Keywords: SEA Games, Naypyitaw, Myanmar, divinf, Yeoh Ken Nee, Kelvin Chong


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