Veterans Leong Mun Yee (left) and Pandelela Rinong are gold medal prospects in the 10m platform synchro event at the Glasgow Commonwealth Games starting next week. - Filepic
PETALING JAYA: It is a testament of Leong Mun Yee’s dedication that she is making a record fifth Commonwealth Games appearance next week.
The 29-year-old Mun Yee, the oldest member in the national diving team, is definitely not going to Glasgow to make up the numbers. She is a gold medal prospect with Pandelela Rinong in the 10m platform synchro based on their performances in the Diving World Series.
Pandelela-Mun Yee were runners-up behind fancied China for the last two seasons. They also clinched the bronze in the World Championships in Barcelona last year. It was the second time the pair achieved the feat, having finished third in Rome in 2009.
Mun Yee was only 14 when she made her Games debut in Kuala Lumpur in 1998. She competed in the 10m platform individual and finished seventh.
Mun Yee also competed in the same event in Manchester in 2002.
In Melbourne four years later, she partnered Cheong Jun Hoong in the 3m springboard synchro and they finished sixth. Mun Yee also dived in the 1m springboard individual.
In New Delhi four years ago, Mun Yee took part in the 1m springboard individual but it was in the 10m platform synchro with Pandelela that she made her breakthrough. They snatched the silver in their final dive to finish behind Australia’s Melissa Wu-Alexandra Croak.
Amateur Swimming Union of Malaysia (Asum) secretary Edwin Chong said Pandelela-Mun Yee will be the main gold medal hope for Malaysia this time.
“Pandelela-Mun Yee have been very consistent, finishing among the top four in the World Series this year.
“They won two silvers and two bronzes out of six legs they competed in. The Canadian pair (Meaghan Benfeito-Roseline Filion), who took the silver at last year’s World Championships, will be their strongest rivals.
“Pandelela is recovering from a thigh injury, but she should be ready by the time the diving competition starts on July 29.
“Mun Yee is determined to do well as it could be her last Commonwealth Games. Winning a gold medal will be memorable for her. She has been with the national team for nearly 20 years and a good example to the younger divers when it comes to commitment,” said Edwin.
Besides the silver by Pandelela-Mun Yee, Malaysia also won one gold (Pandelela in the 10m platform individual) and one bronze (Yeoh Ken Nee-Bryan Nickson Lomas in the men’s 3m springboard synchro) in New Delhi.