RIO DE JANEIRO: After five days of agonising wait, Malaysia finally landed a medal – a silver – at the Rio Olympics.
Thanks to the superb effort by Pandelela Rinong and Cheong Jun Hoong, Malaysia finished second with 344.34 points. China’s Chen Ruolin-Liu Huixia took the gold on 354.00. Canada grabbed the bronze through Meaghan Benfeito-Roseline Filion after collecting 336.18 points.
Pandelela-Jun Hoong were always in contention for a medal – silver or bronze – right from the start as China were just too good for the rest of the field as they led from start to finish.
The Malaysians were joint second with Canada after the first two dives, with both recording identical 52.80 and 52.80 for a 105.60 total.
In the third dive, Pandelela-Jun Hoong dropped to third despite a 76.50 effort. North Korea’s Kim Yuk-hyang-Kim Mi-rae recorded their best score of the day with 81.00 to move to second.
But Pandelela-Jun Hoong fought back to regain second place with a 79.68-point show in the fourth round. It was the only time Pandelela-Jun Hoong outshone Ruolin-Huixia, who could only manage 75.84.
In the fifth and final dive, Pandelela-Jun Hoong displayed nerves of steel to record their best score of the day – 82.56 – to secure the silver.
Ruolin-Huixia registered 87.36 points – the best score of the day – with a splendid plunge while Canada jumped from fifth to finish third after recording 80.64 points.
“I was holding my breath during the fourth dive. Pandelela and Jun Hoong were very focused and executed a dive better than the Chinese pair,” enthused chef de mission Tan Sri Mohamed Al Amin Abdul Majid.
Pandelela, who won a bronze in the individual 10m platform at the London Games, was happy with her achievement.
“Four years ago today I won my first Olympics bronze medal. Today, I won my first Olympics silver medal and I'm not alone."
Jun Hoong was delighted to make amends after her blunder in the 3m springboard synchro that cost her a medal with Nur Dhabitah Sabri.
“I thank God for this silver. And I also thank my coaches, friends and family for their support,” said Jun Hoong.
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