Pandelela Rinong-Leong Mun Yee in action in the 10m platform synchro event during the Moscow leg of the Diving World Series.
PETALING JAYA: The women’s 10m platform synchro pairing of Pandelela Rinong and Leong Mun Yee will be out to gain psychological advantage over their Commonwealth Games rivals as they brace for a hectic schedule ahead.
The recently-crowned national Women’s Team of the Year will join the rest of the senior squad in Windsor, Canada, for the fifth leg of Diving World Series starting on Friday.
It will be the first of three outings – besides the final leg of the World Series in Monterrey, Mexico, next weekend (June 6-8) and the Diving World Cup in Shanghai (July 15-20) – lined up before the Glasgow Games diving competition (July 30-Aug 2).
In all these three meets, world No. 3 Pandelela-Mun Yee will continue their rivalry with Commonwealth Games gold medal contenders Meaghan Benfeito-Roseline Fillion of Canada and Britain’s Tonia Couch-Sarah Barrow.
There is still no clear indication yet of who will be the favourites in Glasgow as they have beaten each other in previous legs of the World Series.
Pandelela-Mun Yee, Meaghan-Roseline and Tonia-Sarah have won a silver each in Dubai, Beijing and London. None of them have been able to end the domination of China’s Chen Ruolin-Li Huixia, who have won all the four legs contested so far.
“Canada, Britain and Australia ... they are always tough opponents when it comes to the Commonwealth Games,” said Mun Yee.
“It will be nice to beat them as it will give us some much-needed confidence.”
Australia will turn the contest in Canada into a four-way battle as they welcome the return of two-time Olympic silver medallist Melissa Wu from long-time injury. Melissa will combine with Rachel Bugg.
The pair had made waves in the Grand Prix series by bagging three silvers in the Guanajuato, Rostock and Madrid legs.
China have decided to rest Ruolin-Huixia for the last two legs of the World Series and will instead field their back-up pair of Wu Shengping-Huang Xiaohui.
This could pave the way for the rest of the world to win their elusive gold medals. Since the inception of the World Series in 2007, China have won the women’s 10m platform synchro title in every single leg.
But Mun Yee insisted that the Chinese pair are still the team to beat.
“We all know what Chinese divers, even their second stringers, are capable of. We have lost to Xiaohui, who was then with another partner (Lian Jie) in the Unites States GP in 2012 ... settling for silver behind them.
“Lela and I have performed consistently this season, but there is plenty of room for improvement. We have to do even better to stand any chance of winning.”
Cheong Jun Hoong-Wendy Ng and Ooi Tze Liang-Ahmad Amsyar Azman will also be in action for women’s 3m springboard synchro on Friday.