EXPERIENCE won the day for Malaysian diver Leong Mun Yee in the defence of her 10-metre platform individual title at the National Aquatic Centre in Hanoi yesterday.
The 19-year-old Perak lass got over the disappointment of losing the 3m springboard gold medal on Sunday by pipping Shenny Ratna Amelia of Indonesia in the final.
Although Mun Yee led from the start, she was still not assured of the gold medal until the sixth and final dive.
Her Indonesian rival was trailing in fourth place after the semi-finals in the morning by almost 15 points.
However, Amelia came out stronger in the afternoon and hauled herself back into contention.
Mun Yee needed nothing less than 58.00 points to claim the gold medal.
With a difficulty level of 3.4 for the final dive, it was make or break for Mun Yee. But she pulled it off, producing 60.85 for a total effort of 435.75 points.
Shenny, making her third appearance in the SEA Games, settled for silver with 431.13 points. Thai youngster Sukrutai Tommaoros took bronze with 412.44 points.
The second Malaysian diver, Cheong Jun Hoong, finished last of the six-competitor finalist with a score of 332.25.
The victory brought Mun Yee a huge relief.
It feels good to deliver a gold for Malaysia. I was a bit down after only winning a bronze in the 3m springboard yesterday, she said.
Amelia pressured me all the way. She also dived with a high degree of difficulty but she splashed more water.
Mun Yee still has two events to compete. She will partner Gracie Junita for the 3m springboard synchronised competition today.
She wraps up her campaign on Wednesday, combining with Jun Hoong for the 10m platform synchronised event.
Seasoned campaigner Suchart Pichi ended an eight-year drought for Thailand when he won the 3m springboard competition with a total effort of 656.91 points.
Malaysians Khairul Safwan and Nor Aznizal Najib finished fourth and sixth with scores of 536.58 and 525.27 respectively.