PETALING JAYA: The season is well and truly over for reigning Glasgow Commonwealth Games springboard champion Ooi Tze Liang.
The Rio Olympic-bound diver is nursing a stress injury on his left shin and will not be competing in the penultimate round of the FINA Diving Grand Prix in Bukit Jalil this weekend.
He will also miss the Australia round in Gold Coast next week.
Tze Liang’s injury has dashed head coach Yang Zhuliang’s plans to use the two remaining Grand Prix meets to prepare the divers for the 3m springboard and 10m platform synchro events.
Malaysia have yet to qualify for the synchro events at the Olympics for both men and women. Malaysia need to do well in the World Cup in Rio de Janeiro from Feb 19-24 as there will be four spots at stake for the synchro events for men and women.
The 20-year-old Tze Liang was to have partnered Ahmad Amsyar for the 3m springboard synchro and Chew Yiwei for the 10m platform synchro at the two meets.
“We have decided to leave him out from the last two competitions for this year as a precaution,” said Amateur Swimming Union of Malaysia (Asum) secretary Mae Chen.
“His condition is not serious but we don’t want to take any chances as it’s only about three months before the World Cup meet.
“In between, there will be training camps in China and we want Tze Liang to recover by then.”
The National Sports Council (NSC) have also given the divers the green light to stay back in Gold Coast for a training camp after the Australian round of the Diving Grand Prix.
“It’s an outdoor venue and similar to the Olympic venue in Rio de Janeiro next year. So, we want to have a training camp for about 10 to 12 days there,” said Mae.
Tze Liang, who has already qualified for the Rio Olympics in the 3m springboard and 10m platform individual events, is determined to come back stronger next year.
“I have no more events this year, but I will support my team-mates this weekend. It’s good to get some rest as 2016 will be an important year for me,” said Tze Liang.
Malaysia’s challenge for medals in their home Grand Prix meet, which begins on Friday, will be led by Pandelela Rinong, Leong Mun Yee, Wendy Ng Yan Yee, Nur Dhabitah Sabri, Cheong Jun Hoong and Traisy Vivien Tukiet. The male divers are Yiwei, Amsyar and Muhd Syafiq Puteh.