PETALING JAYA: The Diving World Series starting next month will serve as the ideal tune-up for national divers Pandelela Rinong and Leong Mun Yee ahead of their Tokyo Olympics mission in August.
Pandelela and Mun Yee are to date the only Malaysians to qualify for the high-profile series, a competition only by invitation to the world’s diving elite with numerous world and Olympic champions taking part every year.
The Diving World Series will be staged over four legs, starting in Montreal on Feb 28-March 1. The circuit will then move to Beijing from March 6-8 and Kazan in Russia, from March 20-22. London will host the final meet from March 27-29.
Pandelela-Mun Yee made the cut for the top-eight field by virtue of their silver medal achievement in the women’s 10m platform synchro event at the World Aquatics Championships in Gwangju, South Korea, last July.
Pandelela also made the cut for the 10m platform individual event by finishing fifth in the event at the world meet last year.
Last year, Pandelela also made the cut for the world series with Cheong Jun Hoong for the women’s 10m platform synchro but they did not dive as the latter was recovering from knee and back injuries.
It was in Montreal in 2018 that the Pandelela-Jun Hoong pair made history by winning the gold medal in the women’s 10m platform synchro – the first triumph for the nation in the Diving World Series.
Mun Yee is no newcomer to the discipline as she has partnered Pandelela on numerous occasions at the Diving World Series.
The two made the podium in the final leg of the 2016 season in Kazan where they bagged a bronze.
Wendy Ng Yan Yee, who has qualified for the Tokyo Olympics by reaching the women’s 3m springboard individual final at the world meet last year, is hoping she can join the other two in the series. For now, she is on the reserve list.
“I should get a place as I finished ninth in the 3m springboard individual final at the world championships. I believe there will be one or two withdrawals. Regardless of whether I am in or not, I will continue training as we have the Diving World Cup in April.
“It is very important for the diving team as this is the final Olympic qualifying meet.
“I need to work harder than ever as Nur Dhabitah Sabri and I hope to secure a spot in the women’s 3m springboard synchro event for the Olympics, ” said Wendy, a double gold medallist at the Philippines SEA Games last month.
Dhabitah delivered the only medal for Malaysia at the Diving World Series last year when she won bronze in the women’s 3m springboard invididual in the final leg in London.
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