National diver showing off his Commonwealth Games gold and silver medals upon arrival at KLIA from Glasgow on Monday. - BERNAMA
SEPANG: The sky’s the limit for diver Ooi Tze Liang, who emerged as the most successful Malaysian athlete at the just concluded Commonwealth Games in Glasgow with a gold and silver show.
Tze Liang has not seen his family in Penang for months but the celebrations can wait as he now has his mind on making a similar splash at the Asian Games in Incheon, South Korea.
It will be a tougher proposition to repeat the act with not just the mighty China divers He Chong and Qin Kai in the fray but Tze Liang also have the likes of Olympic finalist Sho Sakai of Japan for company in the 3m springboard.
He Chong will be defending his Asian Games title and is also the gold medallist from the 2008 Olympics in Beijing.
Tze Liang is also a medal prospect in the 10m platform individual if his silver medal feat in Glasgow is anything to go by.
It is certainly a big turnaround for the 20-year-old who missed out on earning a place in the London Olympics two years ago. Before heading to Glasgow, Tze Liang finished fifth at the World Cup in Shanghai.
“Glasgow gave me a very important life lesson ... how to handle the pressure.
“I always do well in training, I can pull off big dives but somehow in competition there is always one dive I miss out, this did not happen when it matters most (in the final) in Glasgow.
“I put up stable performances where previously I tend to worry unnecessarily in the final.
“My coach (Yang Zhuliang) advised me not to let negative thoughts control me,” said Tze Liang, who returned home with the diving team on Monday night.
Tze Liang, who defeated world junior champion Jack Laugher of England to become the country’s first men’s diving Commonwealth Games champion, is unfazed by the tougher hurdles facing him in Incheon.
“At the Asian Games, I have to face China and Japan but I don’t want to worry about what they will be doing.
“I am just concerned with my own performance and how to bring out my best,” added Tze Liang, who is already a silver medallist from the last Asian Games in Guangzhou.
He claimed silver with Bryan Nickson Lomas in the 10m platform synchro.