Ooi Tze Liang grabbed a surprise silver medal at the Glasgow Commonwealth Games in the 10m platform. - GLENN GUAN/The Star
KUALA LUMPUR: Many would have allowed fame to get to their heads, but not diver Ooi Tze Liang.
The 20-year-old Tze Liang, who stole the thunder with a splashing show at the recent Glasgow Commonwealth Games, won praises from coach Yang Zhuliang for keeping his feet firmly on the ground.
At the Games, Tze Liang pulled off a surprise by winning a gold in the men’s individual 3m springboard. He also bagged a silver in the individual 10m platform.
“He is even more committed in training than before,” said Zhuliang after a training session at Bukit Jalil yesterday.
“He has not allowed all the celebrations and adulation to distract his concentration in training. He is disciplined in training and I am very happy to see that commitment from him.”
Tze Liang is one of the three male divers named for next month’s Asian Games in Incheon, South Korea. The others are Ahmad Amsyar Azman and Chew Yiwei.
The expectations are higher on the men after the good showing in Glasgow, but Zhuliang admitted that it would be tougher for them at the Asiad in the presence of top divers from China and Japan.
“At the Commonwealth Games, we fielded three representatives in the individual events and two in the synchro. But at the Asiad, it will only be two in the individual and one in the synchro. The field is also a lot tougher,” said Zhuliang.
“The level of difficulties will be higher for the men, but they are motivated after the Commonwealths. It will surely spur them to give their opponents from China and Japan a good fight.”
In a bid to beef up their Asiad preparations, Zhuliang said the team had requested for a training stint in Guangdong, China, and were waiting for the green light from Amateur Union Swimming of Malaysia (Asum).
“The earlier we leave for the training there, the better it is for the divers,” he added.
Zhuliang believes Malaysia have a better chance in the women’s competition and hopes Pandelela Rinong, Leong Mun Yee, Nur Dhabitah Sabri, Cheong Jun Hoong, Wendy Ng Yan Yee and Loh Zhiayi will rise to the occasion.
On the condition of Glasgow Games 10m platform silver medallist Pandelela, Zhuliang said: “We are monitoring her knee condition every day. She is staying positive in training and that’s a good sign.”