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Thursday April 25, 2013 MYT 12:00:00 AM
Friday April 26, 2013 MYT 12:47:12 AM
by lim teik huat
KUALA LUMPUR: Diver Pandelela Rinong has a heavy burden to shoulder at the World Championships in Barcelona in July.
The two-time National Sportswoman of the Year will compete in three events in her third world meet appearance.
The world meet, which begins with diving from July 19-Aug 4, will see the cream of the crop from the aquatics discipline gathering for the first time since the London Olympics last August.
The Amateur Swimming Union of Malaysia (Asum) will submit the preliminary entries soon and Pandelela will have the most daunting task among the divers bound for Barcelona.
Besides diving in the 10m platform individual and synchro with regular partner Leong Mun Yee, she will also join forces with Cheong Jun Hoong in the 3m springboard synchro.
As the only Malaysian down for three events, the 20-year-old Pandelela needs to be mentally and physically strong for the challenge.
Asum secretary Edwin Chong said they had no choice but to put Pandelela down for three events at the world meet – in what is a repeat of the London Olympics – due to her reputation.
“We hope to come back with one medal from the world meet. We have a chance to do so in these events ... Pandelela is already a world class diver,” he said.
“She was runner-up in the FINA Diving World Series, a gold medallist at the last Commonwealth Games in India (2010) and an Olympic silver medallist, so these factors can be of help to her as international judges know her.”
Pandelela partnered Mun Yee to strike a silver in the third leg of the series in Edinburgh last week.
Edwin said that it was important for Malaysian divers to finish in the top six in their events at the world meet “as it will help in earning qualification for the Diving World Series next year”.
Pandelela has made the individual final and finished fifth twice in Rome (2009) and Shanghai (2011). But her most cherished world championships moment was winning the bronze with Mun Yee in the platform synchro in Rome – Malaysia’s first-ever in aquatics.
Pandelela, Mun Yee, Jun Hoong, Wendy Ng Yan Yee, Ahmad Amsyar and Ooi Tze Liang are in Moscow for the fourth leg of the Diving World Series this weekend.
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