National diver Sylvester Gaing has been expelled from the Bukit Jalil Sports School for indiscpline and has been sent back to his home state of Sarawak. - Filepic
KUALA LUMPUR: Sylvester Gaing’s hopes of making it as a diver have been dashed after he was kicked out of the national elite squad.
The Sarawakian was expelled from the Bukit Jalil Sports School last month for indiscipline and the Amateur Swimming Union of Malaysia (Asum) had no choice but to send him back to his home state.
The 16-year-old can, thus, kiss goodbye to his hopes of making an appearance at the Glasgow Commonwealth Games in July.
Sylvester was fast-tracked into the national elite squad at the beginning of the year, making him the third Sarawak diver after London Olympic bronze medallist Pandelela Rinong and Trasy Vivien Tukiet.
He was the only diver promoted to the elite squad and coach Yang Zhuliang had high hopes of grooming him for the Commonwealth Games.
With his sacking, the men’s squad to the Commonwealth Games will be a depleted one this time with Mohd Danial Sabri also ruled out with a head injury.
Asum secretary Edwin Chong said they have only submitted a provisional squad of four male and nine female divers for the Commonwealth Games despite the fact that there are more opportunities to bag medals this time.
A country can enter a maximum of three divers for the individual events and two pairings for the synchronised at the Commonwealth Games this time.
Heading the men’s squad for Glasgow are triple Myanmar SEA Games gold medallist Ooi Tze Liang, Ahmad Amsyar, Chew Yiwei and Mohd Nazreen.
Nur Dhabitah Sabri and Nanjing Youth Olympic-bound diver Loh Zhiayi are the two youngsters who will get the prized opportunity to shine on the senior stage along with Wendy Ng Yan Yee, Cheong Jun Hoong, Traisy, Leong Mun Yee, Jasmine Lai, Kam Ling Kar and Pandelela.
Adeline Chin is also a member of the elite women’s squad but has been ruled out as Asum feels that she’s not ready for the big stage yet.
“We do not have many options for the men’s side this time. We planned to get Sylvester ready for the Commonwealth Games but then he got into trouble and we had no choice but to let him go back to Sarawak,” said Edwin.
“The men’s squad is smaller, so every diver will be competing in more than one event this time.
“As for Danial, he has not reported for training since withdrawing from the SEA Games with an ear infection.
“It has turned out to be more serious and his doctor has advised him not to train for now ... so, we have ruled him out of any major competitions this year.”
On their medal chances at Glasgow, Asum are pinning their hopes on the women’s side as they are relatively more experienced.
Malaysia won one gold, one silver and two bronzes from diving at the last Commonwealth Games in New Delhi four years ago.
Pandelela created history by taking gold in the 10m platform individual, becoming the country’s first Commonwealth Games diving champion.
The silver came from Pandelela-Mun Yee in platform synchro. Bryan Nickson Lomas earned two bronzes – in the men’s individual 3m springboard and in synchro with Yeoh Ken Nee.