Published: Saturday June 7, 2014 MYT 5:19:00 PM
Updated: Sunday June 8, 2014 MYT 12:12:45 AM

Silver lining for new diving pair

PETALING JAYA: Pandelela Rinong got herself back on the podium in the Diving World Series with a different partner – Cheong Jun Hoong – to clinch a well-deserved silver medal in the 10m platform synchro final in the final leg in Monterrey, Mexico.

Pandelela’s regular partner Leong Mun Yee had to skip this weekend’s competition due an arm and neck injury sustained at the previous leg in Windsor, Canada, last week.

And the Pandelela-Jun Hoong partnership took flight as they scored 82.56 and 72.00 with their last two attempts to nail the silver with a 328.56 total.

China’s Huang Xiaohui-Lian Jie took gold with 338.76 points.

It was also comforting to note that Pandelela-Jun Hoong, despite the lack of serious preparation, still managed to finish ahead of fellow Commonwealth Games rivals Meaghan Benfeito-Roseline Filion of Canada and Britain’s Sarah Barrow-Tonia Couch, who were third (323.28) and fourth (314.10) respectively.

The outcome gives head coach Yang Zhuliang an option should Mun Yee fail to fully recover for the Commonwealth Games, which will be held from July 23 to Aug 3.

Pandelela and Jun Hoong had paired up once before, when Mun Yee missed the opening round of last season’s series in Beijing – and they finished fourth.

But Friday’s outcome was the best for the scratch pair and it helped Malaysia confirm second place overall (126 points) and a US$20,000 (RM66,000) prize money in the six-leg series.

China won five out of the six legs to finish overall champions with 144 points and collected US$30,000 (RM99,000). Canada finished third with 114 points and US$15,000 (RM49,500).

Their exertions in the platform synchro took its toll on Pandelela and Jun Hoong as they were unable to muster a good challenge in the 3m springboard synchro and ended up seventh (277.80).

China’s He Zi-Wang Han took gold with 321.60 points while Dolores Hernandez-Laura Sanchez thrilled the home crowd by taking silver with 313.50 points, ahead of Pamela Ware-Jennifer Abel of Canada (309.48).

Pandelela explained that she was asked to partner Jun Hoong in the 3m springboard synchro “as the coach wanted me to get ready for the World Cup in Shanghai (from July 15-20) and the Commonwealth Games”.

Jun Hoong partnered Wendy for the five earlier legs and they managed to claim bronze in the Moscow leg last month.

Tags / Keywords: Cheong Jun Hoong, Pandelela Rinong, diving, Diving World Series, Leong Mun Yee


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