KUALA LUMPUR: It is not easy to motivate oneself after going through the same routine in training for the last eight years.
But 19-year-old Bryan Nickson Lomas somehow managed to find the extra impetus to improve on his degree of difficulty at the last minute to book a place in the squad for the FINA World Diving Grand Prix in Shenzen, China, from Feb 13-15.
He was in danger of missing out on international tournaments after his failure to come up with new dives since returning home empty-handed from the World Junior Championships in Germany in September.
In a bid to keep the divers on their toes, the Amateur Swimming Union of Malaysia (Asum) had come out with a new ruling that athletes would only be sent for international tournaments if they could improve on their level of difficulties in their routines during training sessions.
After so many futile attempts over the last four months, Bryan was given one more week to prove himself.
He finally got his act right in training this week and Asum gave him the green light to make the trip to China.
Bryan said he had lost some confidence while trying to perfect the new dive, formulated by China coach Lan Wei.
“The new dive is difficult and somehow I was not confident enough to execute it effectively. It does not take a week to improve on a dive ... it is a gradual process,” said Bryan.
“I also fell sick in between and I had to start the process of perfecting the new dive all over. But I am glad I managed to pull it off finally.”
Bryan is hoping that he would be able to execute the new dive well in his first international tournament in China.
“I am not setting any big goals in my first tournament. I will be happy if I can perform my new dive without any flaws,” he said.
After representing Malaysia in the last two Olympic Games (in Athens and Beijing), Bryan agreed that it had not been easy to be motivated to excel all the time.
“Sometimes I feel like I am at the crossroads. I have been with the national team for quite long. This is another new year and there are new goals to achieve,” he said.
Hopefully the presence of his former coach — Yang Zhuliang of China — who will return to coaching the national team at the end of this month, will re-ignite the fire in Bryan’s belly.
The other senior divers who have been given the green light for the China assignment are Pandelela Rinong, Elizabeth Jimie, Leong Mun Yee, Gracie Junita, Yeoh Ken Nee and Rossharisham Roslan.