KANGAR: Selangor's Chew Yi Wei shook off first-day jitters to successfully defend his Sukma men’s 3m springboard title.
Yi Wei landed Selangor’s first gold in aquatics with a score of 389.65, ahead of Perak’s Muhammad Syafiq Puteh (328.00) and Federal Territories’ Hanis Nazirul Jaya Surya (316.00).
The 19-year-old confessed he was nervous going into the event as he hadn’t competed locally in two years since his last Sukma gold in the same event two years ago in Pahang.
“My first two dives didn’t go so well, but I managed to regain my composure and get my normal rhythm back,” said Yi Wei, who scored 64.50 and 49.50 in his first two dives – his two lowest of the day.
“It’s a different feeling all together competing at the international level and here. Here, I am the defending champion and the pressure was just so much more for me to do well. So I feel really good that I was able to clinch the gold,” added Yi Wei.
He had no complaints on the State Aquatic Centre, which had received flak in recent weeks, saying: “It’s not the cleanest pool I’ve competed in but it’s fine.”
His only disappointment was not garnering a score closer to his personal best of 420 which he achieved in the same event at the World Championships in Barcelona last year.
Yi Wei will get a chance to make it a double win when he competes in the men’s 1m platform on Friday.
“Actually there was an error. I was registered late for the 10m platform so I was ineligible. Instead, I’ll be competing in the 1m springboard,” said Yi Wei with a nervous smile.
“I haven’t trained for this event since Barcelona last year so it’ll be interesting to see what happens tomorrow.”