KUALA LUMPUR: Next month’s SEA Games will be an emotional one for wushu exponent Diana Bong Siong Lin.
Apart from it being her final SEA Games outing, the pint-sized Sarawak exponent will also be gunning for gold in front of a very special person – her mum – for the first time.
Her mother, Mary Liu, will be here from Kuching just to watch her and younger brother Gjeblehem Bong in action in the SEA Games wushu competition at the Kuala Lumpur Convention Centre (KLCC) from Aug 20-22.
Just the thought of performing in front of her mother is giving her the goosebumps.
“I have been with the national team for 13 years and this is the first time that my mum is coming to watch me compete.
“She has never seen me in training or performing in any competitions all this while, not even when we hosted the World Championships here for the first time (in 2013) and I won the world title.
“The SEA Games next month will be really special for me. I hope I do not disappoint her,” said the 31-year-old wushu team captain, who will compete in two events – nanquan and the combined nandao and nangun.
Diana will be gunning for a fourth gold medal in her sixth SEA Games outing.
She won the nanquan and nandao combined event in her SEA Games debut in Thailand in 2007 and the nangun and nandao combined event in Laos two years later.
She managed bronze in Indonesia in 2011 as Tai Cheau Xuen stepped up to snatch the gold in nandao and nangun combined event.
Diana bagged her third gold in nanquan at the Myanmar Games in 2013 while Cheau Xuen came out tops in nandao.
Diana finished out of the medals at the Singapore Games two years ago.
“There was only one event (nanquan) for me in Singapore, but I didn’t do well.
“I won’t make the same mistake again, although I expect very tough competition.
“My strongest rival will be the Myanmar girl (Myint Aye Thit Sar). She won gold in Singapore and is still young,” said Diana, the 2013 World Championships gold medallist in women’s nandao and nangun.
There’s also the twin threat from Indonesians Juwita Niza Wasni and Ivana Ardelia Imanto. Juwita won gold and Ivana the bronze for women’s nanquan in the 2014 Incheon Asian Games.
But Diana’s counting on her mother’s presence to fire her up for a perfect finale.