PETALING JAYA: It will be back to coaches from China as Malaysia look to regain their status in diving.
Malaysia Swimming (MS) are likely to engage Chinese coaches to turn their divers into medal winners again at the 2024 Paris Olympics and this will be discussed during a joint committee meeting with the National Sports Council (NSC) next week.
MS are on the lookout for a coach as the NSC did not renew the contract of Australian coach Christian Brooker, who has been with the Malaysian diving team for almost four years.
His contract ends after this month but Brooker has been on leave since early this week.
The 40-year-old, who had worked with the juniors in Australia and England before this, was brought in to assist Zhang Yukun from China after Yang Zhuliang’s contract as the head coach was not renewed in late 2017.
Yukun then left after the 2018 Gold Coast Commonwealth Games and another Chinese coach Li Rui was brought in.
Both Li Rui and Brooker were in charge of the preparations for the diving team leading to the Tokyo Olympics last month. In Tokyo, Malaysia failed to win any medals.
Andy Low, head of the diving committee for MS, said they would be recommending a new Chinese coach to replace Brooker.
“We will try out a different approach. We did not do as well as what we had hoped for at the Tokyo Olympics last month and we need to find ways to improve,” said Andy.
“Paris is just three years away and we may have to review our training programme to bring back a medal again.
“The synchro events are still our best hope and we have to identify our divers now.
“We did not have any male representative in Tokyo and we hope to change that in Paris.”
The fate of the other coaches handling the national team will also be reviewed but Li Rui’s position should be safe as Pandelela Rinong took gold at the Diving World Cup in May.
The national body will also have to identify new back-up divers to be ready for the Olympics qualification for Paris and find a replacement for the 36-year-old Leong Mun Yee, who competed in her last Olympics in Tokyo.
In Tokyo, Nur Dhabitah Sabri was the only bright spark when she finished fourth in the women’s 3m springboard individual final.
Pandelela-Mun Yee went to Tokyo as medal contenders but finished eighth in the women’s 10m platform synchro final while Pandelela missed out on a third straight Olympics medal after a nightmare opening dive in the individual event.
Pandelela, who won bronze and silver in London 2012 and Rio de Janeiro 2016, was placed last in the field of 12 finalists.