KUCHING: The Sarawak government has renamed the state aquatics centre to the Pandelela Rinong Aquatics Centre in honour of the diving queen’s achievement at the Rio Olympic Games.
This was announced by Deputy Chief Minister Datuk Amar Douglas Uggah at a reception to welcome home Pandelela at the Civic Centre here on Saturday.
The state government has also given a RM500,000 incentive to Pandelela for bagging a silver medal at the Rio Games.
Uggah also announced that developer Tenaga Stabil Sdn Bhd was giving Pandelela a fully-furnished condominium unit worth RM700,000 while another company, Techninier Sdn Bhd, was giving her RM100,000.
“We hope more young people will follow in her footsteps and give us more medals in future,” he said.
He congratulated Pandelela and her diving partner Cheong Jun Hoong for winning a silver medal in the 10m platform synchronised diving event in Rio, saying they had brought pride, glory and honour to the country.
“Pandelela, you are a role model for our youths. You have shown that with determination, discipline, commitment and patience you can reach greatness,” he added.
Pandelela, who arrived at Kuching International Airport at 4.15pm and was escorted to the Civic Centre, thanked everyone for their support and coming to greet her.
“I had an awesome time at the Olympics. It was a great challenge during the competition as we were facing the top divers in the world.
“Before the Games we were training hard for eight hours a day, six days a week. I had to make a lot of sacrifices, for example I could not come home to spend time with my family.
“But it was worth it when we got to Rio, where my partner and I were able to dive neatly and with good synchronisation to win the silver medal,” she said.
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