PETALING JAYA: Malaysia’s next generation of Olympic hopefuls impressed with a 10-gold sweep at the Taiwan Diving Invitational in Taipei over the weekend.
And following their good performances, four juniors – Muhammad Syahmi Mohd Rezal, Hanis Nazirul Jaya Surya, Muhd Syafiq Puteh and Jellson Jabilin – are set to get a piece of the action in the Asian Diving Cup at Bukit Jalil from Sept 4-6.
Syafiq impressed with a three-gold feat in Taipei. Besides clinching the men’s 3m springboard individual title, the 20-year-old also partnered Wendy Ng Yan Yee to win the mixed 3m springboard synchro and combined with Nazirul for the men’s 3m springboard synchro crown.
Wendy also won the women’s 3m springboard title. She is set to feature in the Rio Olympics next year after finishing eighth in the 3m springboard individual at the World Aquatics Championships in Kazan recently.
Jasmine Lai-Kam Ling Kar took the women’s 3m springboard synchro title while the other gold medals came from Syahmi (boys’ platform), Hanis (boys’ 3m springboard), Jellson (boys’ 1m springboard), Ling Kar (women’s 1m springboard) and Traisy Vivien Tukiet (women’s 10m platform),
The Asian Diving Cup is a continental qualifying event for the Olympics, with the respective four individual winners – men and women’s 3m springboard and 10m platform – making the cut for the Olympics.
China have already earned the full quota of eight spots at stake (two for each individual event) from the world meet in Kazan and will not be sending their national divers for the Asian Diving Cup.
“This is the chance for our top divers, like Ooi Tze Liang, Cheong Jun Hoong and Dhabitah Nur Sabri, to try to fight for an Olympic ticket at the Asian Diving Cup,” said Amateur Swimming Union of Malaysia (Asum) secretary Mae Chen.
“We’re likely to expose our juniors like Syahmi, Hanis, Syafiq and Jellson in the Asian Diving Cup. We want them to experience competing in a major event as they are our hopes for the future.”