GLASGOW: National diver Pandelela Rinong was told to stay in hospital for two weeks after injuring her knee during a training stint in China before the Glasgow Commonwealth Games.
However, being the fighter that she is, the 21-year-old Pandelela was back in training within one week.
And it was her determination, discipline and dedication that led to her bagging two medals – a silver and a bronze – at the Royal Commonwealth Pool in Edinburgh.
On Thursday (early yesterday morning in Malaysia), Pandelela bagged a silver in the 10m platform with a score of 368.55 points.
She could have defended her gold if not for a slightly messy finish to her back 2½ somersault and 1½ twist execution in her final dive.
That late mess-up saw her losing to Canada’s Meaghan Benfeito by just 4.10 points. The Canadian had 372.65 points.
Another Canadian, Roseline Filion, took the bronze with 361.80.
A day earlier, Pandelela had won a bronze with Nur Dhabitah Sabri in the 10m platform synchro in only their first outing together.
National coach Yang Zhuliang had only praises for 2012 Olympic Games bronze medallist Pandelela, whose Glasgow campaign is now over.
“Pandelela is a brave girl,” said Zhuliang.
“She had a serious injury (almost a month ago) and could not train.
“When we took her to hospital, she was told that she needed to be in bed for two weeks to avoid putting stress on her knees. Instead, she was back on her feet in a week.
“She takes her responsibility as a diver very seriously and is very disciplined. Without these qualities, we would not even have seen her winning medals in the condition she’s in.
“I’m quite pleased with her performances.”
Pandelela admitted that she could have done better if only she had more time to train.
“I was going for a clean dive in the final jump but there were some splashes. It was not too bad but I did not get the scores I expected,” said Pandelela.
“I’m still very happy with this result. I had limited training session and only practised on the 5m platform for some time. So, winning a silver medal is still okay.
“The Glasgow Games has taught me how to control my nerves … but, most importantly, to enjoy every dive,” added Pandelela, who had earlier withdrawn from all the 3m springboard events.
Pandelela will now shift her attention to next month’s Asian Games in Incheon, South Korea.
The Asiad will be even tougher as she will have top-class divers from China for company but the Malaysian is determined to stay focused.
“I hope to recover completely and as quickly as possible. There is still pain when I train but the good news is that it’s getting better. I will try to do better at the Asiad,” she promised.