KUCHING: The incentives received from the Government and private sector after clinching Malaysia’s first Olympic bronze medal in diving last year has made Pandelela Rinong Pamg strive to do better for Sarawak and the country.
The 20-year-old Bidayuh from Bau vows to give her best shot at the 27th SEA Games in Myanmar this December.
Speaking to The Star, she said it was her obligation to repay all the support and encouragement given by many following her feat in London, which really spurred her to do better in competitions.
The Sports Science degree major of Universiti Malaysia said she had been undergoing intensive programme since two weeks ago, which forced her to reschedule her day classes to every Tuesday and Thursday nights.
At the moment, she trains daily at the National Aquatics Centre in Bukit Jalil.
“I have to focus on my training in order to be in my best form for the SEA Games.
“I admit it is very tiring but I don’t mind at all. It is my duty and sacrifice for the country,” she said.
On top of this, Pandelela said she and ten other divers would leave for Guangzhou, China in the first week of next month for a final session before heading to Myanmar.
“I hope the training stint in Guangzhou would further improve my performance as I expect tough challenge from other countries at the SEA Games,” she said.
Pandelela will only be competing in her favourite 10m platform individual event at the 27th SEA Games, to be held in Nay Pyi Taw from Dec 11 to 22.
She took a silver in the individual platform in her SEA Games debut in Korat in 2007 but became a double gold medallist in Laos two years later.
Pandelela partnered Leong Mun Yee to gold in synchro, apart from winning the individual gold in Laos and she went on to retain her Games title in Palembang two years ago.
On talks about this year’s SEA Games being her last, Pandelela said it could stem from her remarks saying that she would give way to more new talents in the sport.
“We have so many new faces now in Malaysian diving and they have the potential to make a name for themselves.
“As for me, if there are invitation to compete in the next SEA Games, or any other meet for that matter, I would still go. There’s no stopping for me just as yet,” she said.
Apart from Pandelela, Malaysia will also be sending 10 other divers to the Myanmar meet comprising the women’s team namely Mun Yee, Cheong Jun Hoong, Wendy Ng Yee, Nur Dhabitah Sabri and Loh Zhiayi; and the men’s team consisting of Ooi Tze Liang, Muhd Amsyar Azman, Chew Yi Wei, Danial Sabri and Muhd Nazreen Abdullah.