PETALING JAYA: Malaysia are desperately looking for diving coaches.
Now, Chinese coaches Yang Zhuliang and Zhang Yukun have their hands full taking care of the eight divers – Pandelela Rinong, Cheong Jun Hoong, Leong Mun Yee, Wendy Ng Yan Yee, Nur Dhabitah Sabri, Ooi Tze Liang, Chew Yiwei and Ahmad Amsyar Azman – under the elite-only Podium Programme.
On top of that, Zhuliang and Yukun are also in charge of preparing four other juniors – Jellson Jabillin, Hanis Nazirul Jayasurya, Gabriel Gilbert Daim and Muhd Syahmi Rezal – to take the mantle in the future.
Besides Zhuliang and Yukun, Malaysia also have two other Chinese coaches.
Li Ten and Huang Qiang, a former World Cup medallist, handle the Aug 19-31 Kuala Lumpur SEA Games’ Kita Juara programme. The five divers under their charge are Traisy Vivien Tukiet, Loh Zhiayi, Jasmine Lai, Kimberly Bong and Muhd Syafiq Puteh.
As next year is a busy season, the Amateur Swimming Union of Malaysia (Asum) are looking for extra coaching hands.
Diving is one of the sports that Malaysia have a decent chance of winning golds at next year’s Australian Commonwealth Games and Indonesian Asian Games.
Said Asum secretary Mae Chen: “We’re urgently looking for at least one more coach to help in the Podium Programme. It’s a headache, especially on the coaching side. We have divers competing in the Diving World Series as well as the World Grand Prix legs every year.
“Sometimes we only have one coach in Kuala Lumpur as the others are overseas for competitions. That’s why some of the juniors are lagging behind in their training.
“It’s going to be worse next year. We’ve got to prepare for the Commonwealth Games and Asian Games as well as the World Series and Grands Prix. So, it’s important for us to start hiring coaches as soon as possible.”