KUALA LUMPUR: Diver Bryan Nickson Lomas will put studies aside for the next two months to start early in his bid to learn new techniques ahead of the Beijing Olympics next year.
The 17-year-old will leave for Kunming tomorrow to join seven other divers for a stint to prepare for the Asian age-group aquatics championships in Jakarta in August.
The other divers Ahmad Fakhri, Ahmad Amsyar Azman, Mohd Fakhrul, Elizabeth Jimie, Cheong Jun Hoong, Pandalela Rinong and former Olympian Gracie Junita will leave today for the stint in China.
Bryan delayed his departure by a day because he is to receive a special award from Youth and Sports Minister Datuk Seri Azalina Othman Said for becoming the first Malaysian to qualify for the Beijing Olympics.
Bryan made the cut with a seventh-place finish in the individual 10m platform final of the World Championships in Melbourne in March. The top 12 earned automatic places in the Olympics.
Bryan was glad to qualify early for the Olympics because it will give him more time to concentrate on his SPM examinations this year.
I deferred my exams last year because of my preparations for the Commonwealth and Asian Games. I have no choice but to sit for the exams this year, he said.
I did not train as much compared to previously after coming back from the World Championships. But the coach wants me to start learning the new techniques and apply them in the next competition in August.
I have to start learning the three-and-a-half somersault backwards if I want to achieve something in the Olympics because the top divers are already using it.
The Sarawakian, who was on a two-and-a-half technical difficulty level previously, won the world junior title in the 3m springboard in 2004 and took bronze in the 10m platform in the following edition last year.
The Beijing Games will be Bryans second outing in the Olympics. He was given a wild card to compete in 2004 and was the youngest athlete in the Athens Games.
Three other senior divers Yeoh Ken Nee, Rossharisham Roslan and Leong Mun Yee will be joining their younger counterparts in Kunming after the European legs of the World Diving Grand Prix.
The trio will compete in Rome (June 15-17) and Rostock (June 22-24).
Ken Nee partnered Rossharisham to win consecutive bronze medals in the synchronised 3m springboard event in the first two legs held in China and Canada recently and there is hope on them to continue with their good performances.