BERTRAND Rhodict (pic) hit the water awkwardly, not once, but twice. But that was in the warm-up.
During the men’s 10m platform final at the Hangzhou Aquatic Sports Centre last night, the 18-year-old was a different man as he finished an impressive fourth behind the indomitable Chinese and Japanese.
Yang Hao and Bai Yuming gave China the gold (554.35) and silver (495.55) as the hosts completed a clean sweep of all 10 gold medals at stake in diving. 2002 world championships silver medallist Rikuto Tamai of Japan snatched the bronze with 480.50 points.
Bertrand, who is bound for the Paris Olympics next year, did not stray off course and finished the six-dive competition with 434.85 points. It was the best performance by a Malaysian diver in the event since Bryan Nickson Lomas took bronze in Guangzhou 2010.
Finishing closely behind with an equally satisfying result was teammate Jellson Jabillin, who notched 403.00 points in fifth.
Sarawak-born Bertrand, who bagged bronze with Enrique Maccartney Harold in the men’s 10m platform synchro on Sunday, was relieved to have completed his round without any mishap.
“Normally, the confidence is shaken (after the warm-up mishap). I fell over the board in warm-up. I was doing a handstand but I couldn’t hold it, so I fell backwards. It happened twice, actually.
“It’s pretty scary if you look down, but I try not to think about it.
“During the competition, I managed to hold my handstand,” said Bertrand, who finished an impressive 10th in the event at the World Championships in Fukuoka, Japan in July.
In women’s 3m springboard, Kimberly Bong finished sixth in the final with 247.20 points.
The diving team thus completed their campaign with one silver and four bronze medals.
The lone silver in Hangzhou came from Wendy Ng Yan Yee-Nur Dhabitah Sabri (women’s 3m springboard synchro).