Higher degree of difficulty needed for male divers


Their future’s bright: Bertrand Rhodict and Enrique Maccartney Harold in action en route to garnering a bronze in the men’s synchronised event. — AP

STEP up or be left behind. The male divers will need to raise their dive difficulties if they are to have a chance to fight for medals at the next Asian Games in Nagoya, Japan, in three years time.

At the just concluded Asian Games, the diving team contributed one silver from the women’s 3m springboard synchro through Wendy Ng Yan Yee-Nur Dhabitah Sabri and four bronze medals in the women’s 10m platform synchro (Nur Dhabitah-Pandelela Rinong), men’s 3m springboard synchro (Ooi Tze Liang-Mohd Syafiq Puteh), men’s 10m platform synchro (Bertrand Rhodict-Enrique Maccartney Harold) and women’s 10m platform individual (Pandelela).

It is an improvement from the one silver and three bronze medals achieved at the previous Asiad in Indonesia five years ago.

Paris-bound Olympian Bertrand and Jellson Jabillin also had memorable outings in the men’s 10m platform individual when they finished fourth and fifth respectively.

It is a good achievement considering they were up against the top Chinese platform divers and also Japan’s Rikuto Tamai, who bagged silver at the world championships in Budapest last year.

Diving team manager Datuk Leong Mun Yee said it is not impossible for the divers like Bertrand and Jellson, who are 18 and 22 respectively, to be medal contenders in the individual events in three years time.

“As far as the men’s 10m platform is concerned, the difficulty level needs to be increased and then we work on the consistency. You need to be consistent and have a high difficulty level to fight for a medal in the men’s competition.

“For the women’s side, we just have to be consistent because we already have a high level of difficulty.

“They did well at this Asian Games and they just need to fine tune on certain aspects as there is not much time to change things because the Olympic qualifiers is in February next year,” said the former national diver.

It’s going to be a crucial three months of preparation as the World Aquatics Championships in Doha in February next year will be the final phase of qualifying for the Paris Olympics.

“This is where the remaining quotas for the respective events will be decided and I think our divers can possibly fight for the quota slots if they can maintain their performance till next year.”

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