KUCHING: Laos SEA Games double gold medallist diver Pandelela Rinong is all set to represent Malaysia in the qualifying rounds of the inaugural Youth Olympic Games in Mexico City on Friday.
The 17-year-old Sarawakian recently recovered from a minor back injury and resumed training two weeks ago at the Bukit Jalil Aquatic Centre in Kuala Lumpur.
“I injured my back during training some time in early February and was allowed to do only light training. I’ve recovered from the injury and started intensive training in late February,” she told StarMetro.
Pandelela, who hails from Kampung Jugan in Bau, some 30km from here, will compete in the 10m platform and 3m springboard individual events at the Youth Olympic Games.
She said, with at least three major competitions marked on her calendar, she is taking things one step at a time.
However, she is focused on earning a spot in the Youth Olympic Games finals in Singapore in August.
“I’m also preparing for my debut at the Commonwealth Games in New Delhi in October and the Asian Games in Guangzhou in November,” she said.
On top of this, the Fifth Former said she studied every night for her coming Sijil Pelajaran Malaysia examinations after her daily training from 8am to 7.30pm.
“I have been missing classes since last month because of the intensive training but I am doing my best to catch up. I allocate an hour between 9pm and 10pm for studies. So far, I am doing alright,” she said.
Pandelela made her world championship debut in Rome, Italy last year where she took fifth place in the 10m platform event.
She also created history with partner Leong Mun Yee in Rome when they bagged the bronze in the synchronised event for the country’s first-ever world championship medal in aquatics.
“My outing in Rome is my proudest moment so far,” she said.