PETALING JAYA: Malaysian women divers made a breakthrough to get on the rostrum in the opening leg of the FINA World Diving Grand Prix at Shenzhen yesterday.
Leong Mun Yee-Elizabeth Jimie amassed 292.50 points to finish third behind two Chinese pairs in the women’s 3m springboard synchronised competition.
However, the Malaysian duo were awarded the silver medal due to the regulations in the World Diving Grand Prix allowing only one pair from each country to go up to the podium for synchronised events. It was the first time the Malaysian women divers manage to win a medal in the World Diving Grand Prix.
He Zi, the gold medallist in the women’s 1m springboard at the last World Championships in Melbourne two years ago, partnered Wang Han to give China the gold with 324.90 points.
Fang Min-Hou Yuanyuan of China chalked up the second highest tally of 292.50 points.
Malaysia also earned a second medal through 14-year-old Pandelela Rinong, who took bronze in the women’s 10m platform individual.
Pandelela, who also competed in the Beijing Olympics last year, chalked up 320.85 points in the event won by Olympic champion Chen Ruolin.
Another Malaysian diver Traisy Vivian, also from Sarawak and a newcomer to the national squad, finished fourth with 253.63 points.
Ruolin scored 418.20 points in the final to finish ahead of fellow younger compatriot Kang Li, who earned 415.25 points for the silver.
Divers from Georgia, Russia, Hong Kong and Macau are taking part in the three-day competition. Amateur Swimming Union of Malaysia secretary Edwin Chong said Mun Yee-Elizabeth, the bronze medallist in the Doha Asian Games two years ago, were using a new dive routine.
“They have increased the degree of difficulties compared to the Beijing Olympics. They have not been training much for the synchronised event prior to coming here and there is room to improve further,” he said.
Today, Malaysia’s male divers, Yeoh Ken Nee, Rossharisham Roslan and Bryan Nickson will see action.