Ex-national diver Bryan Nickson Lomas, seen here at he 2012 London Olympics, wants to graduate in 2015, but he has not ruled out making a comeback for the 2016 Rio Olympics. - AFP
PETALING JAYA: Bryan Nickson Lomas is no longer diving competitively but he has not cut off links with the sport either.
Bryan, who quit diving in May last year to focus on his studies, has accepted a coaching position with the Selangor Sports Council.
The three-time Olympian platform diver will be helping the Selangor diving team with their preparations for Sukma (Malaysia Games), which will be held in Perlis in May.
For 22-year-old Bryan, the coaching position is less hectic compared to the daily grind of training and preparing for multi-Games assignments.
Bryan, who lost his father Lomas Pawi in September, said helping to guide the youngsters allows him to continue his involvement with diving.
“I stopped diving to focus on my Sports Science studies as my parents wanted me to complete my university studies first.
“If I was still in the national team, I would have problems completing my semesters as we have to go to China for training before a major competition.
“I cannot cut the sport from my daily life and I am happy to learn how to coach at the same time,” said Bryan, who admitted he still keeps track of the progress of his former team-mates, especially the men.
“It’s really pleasing to see how (Ooi) Tze Liang and others have improved a lot last year, and we have young divers like (Chew) Yi Wei and (Mohd) Nazreen coming up,” added the Sarawakian.
Tze Liang bagged three gold medals as diving made a clean sweep of all eight events at stake in the Myanmar SEA Games last month.
Bryan himself won four consecutive gold medals in platform at the SEA Games from 2005 to 2011.
Bryan, who in 2007 became the first-ever Malaysian diver to reach a World Championships final in Melbourne, has not ruled out a comeback in the future but definitely not this year.
The diving team are bracing themselves for a hectic year with two major multi-games events – the Incheon Asian Games and Glasgow Commonwealth Games.
Bryan would have stood a good chance of vying for the gold medal in individual platform at the Commonwealth Games had he continued with his training with only former world champion Tom Daley of Britain as his main rival.
2008 Beijing Olympic winner Matthew Mitcham has already retired. Bryan took bronze behind Mitcham and Daley at the last Commonwealth Games in New Delhi.
But Bryan remains firm with his plans to complete his studies.
“I will stick to what I have planned which is to ensure I graduate in 2015.
“By then, I don’t even know if there would be enough time to try and make the cut for the 2016 Rio Olympics ... it would be difficult.
“But I’m not ruling out anything in future ... you never know what is going to happen.”