PETALING JAYA: Pandelela Rinong (pic) and Wendy Ng Yan Yee (inset) received a timely boost in their bid to do well in the third leg of the Diving World Series in Kazan, Russia, this weekend.
Yesterday, the duo were honoured for their Olympic achievements at the University Malaya Sports Awards ceremony.
Pandelela and national high jumper Nauraj Singh Randhawa were named the university’s Best Female and Male Athletes.
Pandelela partnered Cheong Jun Hoong to win the silver in the 10m platform synchro while Wendy finished 10th in the 3m springboard individual in last year’s Rio de Janeiro Olympics.
It was the second Olympic medal for Pandelela, who claimed a bronze in the 10m platform individual in London in 2012.
As for Nauraj, he was placed 18th in the high jump after clearing 2.26m in Rio.
The university also awarded Special Badge honours to seven athletes who competed in the Rio Olympics. Besides Pandelela, Wendy and Nauraj, the other recipients were diver Ahmad Amsyar Azman, archer Haziq Kamaruddin and shuttlers Vivian Hoo and Woon Khe Wei.
Pandelela will be seeking a third straight medal when she partners Jun Hoong in the 10m platform synchro in Kazan tomorrow.
Earlier in China this month, the pair grabbed a silver in the first leg in Beijing, but settled for the bronze in Guangzhou.
Pandelela, however, failed to reach the top six final in the 10m platform individual in the first two legs.
The hope is that the 24-year-old will be inspired by her return to the venue where she clinched the bronze in the individual event at the World Aquatics Championships two years ago.
Malaysia coach Yang Zhuliang said Malaysia will be bidding for medals in all four events in Kazan.
Wendy has two events, competing in the 3m springboard individual and partnering teenager Nur Dhabitah Sabri in the 3m springboard synchro.
“Wendy and Dhabitah came close to winning a medal in Guangzhou. They put up a good fight before finishing fourth.
“If they can earn good scores in the last three optional dives, they’ve a good chance of securing a medal this time.
“Wendy qualified for the Rio Olympics through the World Championships in Kazan, so we’re going back to a familiar environment,” said Zhuliang.