Bad day at the pool

Untouchables: China’s Chen Yiwen and Chang Yani competing in the women’s 3m springboard synchro event at the World Cup. — AFP

PETALING JAYA: Disappointment was written all over diver Wendy Ng Yan Yee’s face. No thanks to an error-strewn performance by Wendy and Nur Dhabitah Sabri in the World Cup in Tokyo, Malaysia will not be represented in the women’s 3m springboard synchro event at the Olympics for the first time since the 2012 London Games.

Pandelela Rinong-Cheong Jun Hoong came in eighth at the London Games while Jun Hoong partnered Dhabitah to finish an impressive fifth at the 2016 Rio Games.

Wendy-Nur Dhabitah were hoping to win one of the four remaining nation spots at stake for Malaysia in the very first event of the meet yesterday but were never in the picture when they settled for the 15th spot at the end of the five-dive preliminary round with 217.95 points.

Only the top 12 pairs go through to the final.

Wendy was apologetic for not being able to extend Malaysia’s representation in the women’s 3m springboard synchro to Tokyo.

“I’m so sorry to disappoint everyone. Dhabitah and I came here with high hopes of earning a second Olympic slot but it just didn’t happen, ” said Wendy.

“If we had scored 60 points for two dives, we would have had a chance to survive the preliminary round.

“I am disappointed in myself. I trained hard but ended up like this, ” rued Wendy, the Rio Olympic finalist in the women’s 3m springboard individual.

Rubbing salt to the Malaysian team’s wound was the fact that Wendy-Dhabitah came with the reputation as the silver medallists from the last Asian Games in Indonesia in 2018 but ended up finishing behind Japan and South Korea for the first time in a major competition.

Japan’s Enomoto Haruka-Miyamoto Hazuki and South Korea’s Kim Su-ji-Cho Eun-bi were placed seventh (267.90) and 11th (242.49) respectively in the preliminaries.

In the final yesterday, China’s Chen Yiwen-Chang Yani claimed the first gold medal at stake by leading from start to win with 317.16 points.

Jennifer Abel-Melissa Citrini Beaulieu took silver with 289.98 points in what was a repeat of their performance for Canada at the world meet in Gwangju two years ago while Italy’s Elena Bertocchi-Chiara Pellacani took bronze with 283.77 points.

Joining China, Canada, Italy, Mexico and hosts Japan to complete the Olympic field for the women’s 3m springboard synchro event were Italy, Germany, United States and Britain.

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