PETALING JAYA: Australian Christian Brooker has arrived in Malaysia but he is not going to be the one taking the diving team to the Tokyo 2020 Olympics.
Brooker arrived earlier this week to assist Zhang Yukun in the training of the elite squad divers preparing for the Gold Coast Commonwealth Games in April and the Jakarta Asian Games in August this year.
However, he is not able to start work with the Bukit Jalil-based team as his working permit has not been processed yet.
China-born Zhang Yukun is currently the acting head coach in place of Yang Zhuliang, whose contract under the Podium Programme was not renewed last year.
The Amateur Swimming Union of Malaysia (Asum) secretary Mae Chen said they were still planning to get a new head coach for the diving team.
“We’re planning to engage a new head coach to fine-tune the preparations for the next Olympics ... someone who can bring the team to greater heights.
“It’s not just the elite set-up where we need one more coach. Hopefully, the National Sports Council will agree to hire one more junior coach as we plan to draft some junior divers from Sarawak into the team.
“Huang Qiang was previously in charge of the Kita Juara programme (for the Kuala Lumpur SEA Games) but he is no longer around, so we need a replacement,” she said.
Huang Qiang is no longer coaching the di-ving team as he has been charged with raping a 20-year-old diver and is awaiting trial.
Malaysia have delivered medals at the last two Olympics and expectations will be on the diving team to keep the good streak going.
Pandelela Rinong bagged a bronze in the women’s 10m platform individual in London in 2012 and she partnered Cheong Jun Hoong to contribute a silver medal in the 10m platform synchronised event in Rio four years later.