Diving coach Li Rui wary of North Korean threat


  • Diving
  • Wednesday, 07 Aug 2019

Talented: North Korean women divers Kim Mi-rae and Jo Jin-mi (right) could pose a threat to Malaysia’’s medal hopes in the 10m platform synchro in next year’s Olympic Games in Tokyo.

KUALA LUMPUR: A new threat has surfaced to deny Malaysia’s hopes to at least defend the Olympic diving silver medal in the women’s 10m platform synchro.

Apart from China, the North Koreans are also considered gold-medal prospects at the Tokyo Games next year.

With this in mind, diving coach Li Rui now wants Pandelela Rinong and Leong Mun Yee to compete at the Asian Diving Cup in Kuala Lumpur from Sept 6-8.

“Kim Mi-rae-Jo Jin-mi did not compete at the World Championships in Gwangju recently. They are a threat to us as they beat the Chinese divers to the gold at the Diving World Series Montreal leg earlier this year.

“And they will be here to compete. It will be a good opportunity to see where our divers stand alongside them in terms of technique and execution.”

Pandelela-Mun Yee recently earned an early Olympic ticket with a career-best silver medal performance in the 10m platform synchro at the World Championships.

The pair were placed second behind China with the United States taking the bronze.

“Pandelela, Mun Yee and Ooi Tze Liang will be going for a three-week training stint in Sichuan (China) later this week to prepare for the Asian meet.

“I hope after the stint Tze Liang can qualify for the Olympics through the Asian meet in the men’s 3m springboard.”

At the last Olympic in Rio de Janeiro three years ago, Cheong Jun Hoong partnered Pandelela to win the silver in the 10m platform synchro.

However, Jun Hoong is still on the road to recovery and is expected to make a return at the Diving World Cup in Tokyo in April next year.

It is also the final qualifying event for the divers before the Olympics.
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