Diving: Malaysia claim three out of four gold medals on offer

PETALING JAYA: Malaysian divers continued with their fine showing in the Asian Junior Aquatics Championships, bagging three of the four gold medals at stake on the third day of competition at the Senayan Swimming Complex in Jakarta yesterday. 

Sarawakian Pandelela Rinong continued to make waves, winning the girls' Group B (Under-15) individual 3m springboard event for her third gold of the championships. 

Manila SEA Games gold medallist Cheong Jun Hoong extended Malaysia's domination in the girls' competition by winning the Group A (Under-17) competition. 

Ahmad Amsyar made it a memorable day for Malaysia beating China's Wang Fen to the gold medal in the boys' Group B individual 1m springboard event. 

Jun Hoong: Won the Group A (Under-17) individual 3m springboard event.

The 14-year-old Ahmad, who was roped into the national back-up squad early this year, chalked up 332.80 points. It was the first gold medal for Malaysia in the boys' competition and it made sure that China will not finish with a clean sweep. 

Wang Fen, who took gold ahead of Ahmad in the 3m springboard event on Wednesday, scored 329.25 points and another Malaysian, Ahmad Fakhri, won the bronze with a total score of 305.25. 

Pandelela's third gold was also achieved in similar fashion. She beat her more fancied team-mate, Elizabeth Jimie, a two bronze-medal winner in the Doha Asian Games last December, for the 3m springboard gold with a total of 374.35 points. 

Elizabeth settled for silver on 350.50 in an event that she created history in Kuala Lumpur last year by becoming the first Malaysian female diver to win gold in the world championships. 

The Amateur Swimming Union of Malaysia (Asum) secretary, Edwin Chong, however, did not want to read too much into Elizabeth's defeat because she had not been training much. 

“She went home to Sarawak for a while after the Asian Games and has just started out on a new routine,” he said in a telephone interview from Jakarta. 

“But Pandelela certainly has done very well. So has Ahmad (Amsyar), who did not make many mistakes today.” 

Jun Hoong also prevailed against team-mate Gracie Junita to win the girls' springboard event in Group A. 

Jun Hoong posted 381.95 while Gracie, who represented Malaysia in the 2004 Athens Olympics, finished second on 361.25. 

National diver Bryan Nickson had to settle for silver for the third consecutive day in the boys' Group A individual 10m platform event.  

He amassed 575.95 to finish behind China's Wang Jihao, who scored 601.85. 

With two days of competition to go, Malaysia have won five gold medals and they are set to at least match the haul of eight medals achieved in the last championship in Bangkok two years ago. 

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