KUALA LUMPUR: Diver Ooi Tze Liang finally had something to celebrate this year after splashing to gold for Malaysia in the men’s 3m springboard final at the Malaysia Diving Grand Prix in Bukit Jalil.
The 24-year-old led from start to the end of the six-dive competition to finish with 428.45 points for his first international victory at the National Aquatic Centre yesterday.
Croatian Hrvoje Brezovac took silver with 350.30 points while Singapore’s Timothy Lee settled for the bronze with 320.85.
After finishing empty-handed from the Gold Coast Commonwealth Games and Indonesia Asian Games this year, yesterday’s outing in his training ground will no doubt motivate Tze Liang to aim for better things next year.
“I was more consistent in the afternoon final compared to the morning (preliminaries).
“The opposition here is not so strong but I wanted to enter this competition to see my level as I have not trained for a while after the Asian Games in August.
“We were given a one-month break after the Asian Games.
“Besides, I have no injury problems. I’m happy to get decent scores as this is my first competition after the Asian Games and also my last for this year,” said Tze Liang, who also led in the preliminaries with 395.70 points.
Tze Liang’s biggest aim next year will be to do well in the 3m springboard individual and synchro at the World Aquatics Championships in South Korea in July.
“The world meet will be the first qualifying event for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics where I hope to qualify,” added Tze Liang, the 2014 Glasgow Commonwealth Games gold medallist in the men’s 3m springboard.
Teammate Muhd Syafiq Puteh was in silver medal position after the first three dives but he failed to hold on and plunged to fifth in the end with 317.05 points.
Sarawakian youngsters Bertrand Rhodict Lises-Enrique Maccartney Harold made a good international debut by splashing to bronze in the men’s 10m platform synchro final with 268.47 points.
China’s Duan Yu-Wang Zewei took gold with 371.04 points ahead of Australians Brodie Scapens-Sam Fricker, who amassed 320.31 points.
Youth Olympics diver Kimberly Bong managed a bronze with 264.45 points in the women’s 10m platform individual final.
Men 3m springboard individual: 1. Ooi Tze Liang (Mas) 428.45, 2. Hrvoje Brezovac (Cro) 350.30, 3. Timothy Lee (Sin) 320.85.
10m platform synchro: 1. Duan Yu-Wang Zewei (Chn) 371.04, 2. Brodie Scapens-Sam Fricker (Aus) 320.31, 3. Bertrand Rhodict Lises-Enrique Maccartney Harold (Mas) 268.47.
Women 10m platform individual: 1. Xu Yijin (Chn) 336.10, 2. Laura Hingston (Aus) 289.75, 3. Kimberly Bong (Mas) 264.45.