PETALING JAYA: It was double Olympic joy for Pandelela Rinong when she fought her way to the women’s 10m platform individual final at the World Aquatics Championships in Gwangju, South Korea.
By reaching the top 12 final, which takes place tonight, Pandelela is assured of a place in her pet event at the Tokyo Olympics next year.
Pandelela, who finished ninth in the top 18 semi-finals yesterday with 312.70 points, maintained her impressive record of making the cut for the Olympics early in the 10m platform individual through the world meet.
Pandelela also accomplished the same feat in finishing fifth at the 2011 edition in Shanghai, China, and in 2015 in Kazan, Russia, where she claimed bronze - her first individual medal.
Pandelela had partnered Leong Mun Yee to claim a silver in the women’s 10m platform synchro on Sunday.
Pandelela reached the semi-finals after producing 303.70 points in the preliminaries earlier in the day.
In the semis, she was 11th after the first two dives but stepped up to the challenge with consistent efforts in the remaining four attempts to achieve her objective to lock the second Olympic slot.
Pandelela, who is competing in the individual platform for the first time since March after recovering from a back injury, has to raise her performance by a few notches in the final if she hopes to fight for a medal.
At the last world meet in Budapest, Hungary, two years ago, Cheong Jun Hoong sprang the biggest surprise by beating the reigning Olympic champion Ren Qian en route to winning the women’s 10m platform title.
But it looks like the title will return to China with their 14-year-old rookies Chen Yuxi and Lu Wei in dominant form after finishing in the top two with 407.95 and 370.85 points respectively.
Canadians Caeli McKay and Meaghan Benfeito were third (356.70) and fourth (340.60) respectively.