Divers Pandelela Rinong (left) and Leong Mun Lee are the most experienced divers in the national team at the Glasgow Commonwealth Games. - Filepic
GLASGOW: Diver Pandelela Rinong, the 2012 London Olympic Games bronze medallist, was the country’s only star at the last Commonwealth Games in New Delhi four years ago.
But expect a different scenario when the diving competition begins at the Royal Commonwealth Pool in Edinburgh today.
With more quality women divers in the fold, there is a good chance for Malaysia to get off to a brilliant start – provided, of course, they keep their executions clean and neat, says team manager Edwin Chong.
Malaysia will take part in three events on Wednesday – the men’s 1m springboard and the women’s 10m platform synchro and 3m springboard synchro.
Edwin believes that Malaysia’s best chance for a medal is in the women’s 10m platform synchro, where all hopes will be on Cheong Jun Hoong-Leong Mun Yee and Pandelela-Nur Dhabitah Sabri.
Edwin admitted that the good outing by Jun Hoong-Mun Yee in the 10m platform synchro at the World Cup in Shanghai this month had raised expectations “but it could still be a very close affair”.
At the World Cup, Jun Hoong-Mun Yee scored a first by bagging a silver medal.
“We initially paired up Pandelela with Mun Yee for this event (they were silver medallists at the last Games in New Delhi) but we changed it based on the divers’ current form at the team managers’ meeting today (yesterday),” said Edwin.
“Jun Hoong and Mun Yee finished ahead of the divers from Canada, Australia and England in Shanghai. There was only six to seven points separating them … so it will be quite close.
“If Jun Hoong-Mun Yee can minimise their errors, they stand a good chance of winning a medal.”
Edwin was also quizzed on Pandelela’s condition as the 2010 Commonwealth Games 10m platform individual gold medallist had suffered a knee injury during a training stint in China earlier this month.
“She won’t be taking part in any 3m events. Those require one to hop and jump on the springboard and that will only put more stress on her knee. She will only compete in the 10m individual and synchro,” he said.
And what about the other divers?
“After the World Cup, the British, Canadians and Australians came straight here (to Edinburgh) to train. But we went home and just arrived here last Friday. Our divers are still recovering from jet lag … hopefully, they will be fresh for their events tomorrow (today),” said Edwin.
At the last Games, Malaysia returned from New Delhi with one gold, one silver and one bronze.