Pandelela hopes support services will be back

03 Apr 2023 02:34pm
Former Olympic silver medalist Pandelela Rinong hopes for supports services to be returned under the Road to Goal project.
Former Olympic silver medalist Pandelela Rinong hopes for supports services to be returned under the Road to Goal project.

KUALA LUMPUR - Datuk Pandelela Rinong is hoping that the 'Road To Gold' (RTG) project will focus on bringing back more consistent support services to national athletes.

Former Olympic silver medallist Pandelela said the support services such as the sports science team she enjoyed when she participated in two Olympic Games, namely the 2012 edition in London and the 2016 edition in Rio de Janeiro, helped her contribute medals at the world's biggest sports event.

"It is hoped that after this the support services will be more consistent, not sometimes available and at other times not...Like in London and Rio we had our attached masseurs and sports biomechanics but for Tokyo 2020 there was none (support services).

"I am not getting any younger while other divers need video analysis during training and competitions. If you want consistent results but there is no support (services), it is difficult," she told reporters at the 58th Malaysian Invitational Age Group (MIAG) diving championships here today.

Pandelela made history by becoming the country's first female athlete to contribute a medal at the Olympic Games in the 2012 edition in the women's 10 metres (m) platform event by winning bronze followed by silver in partnership with Cheong Jun Hoong in the 2016 edition in the women's 10m synchronised platform event.

Last month, the Youth and Sports Ministry announced the formation of a team for the RTG project which is considered a national project with the objective to coordinate the country's efforts in hunting for the maiden gold medal at the Olympic Games.

In the meantime, the athlete from Sarawak is confident that the junior divers are capable of shining thus maintaining Malaysia's dominance in the 2023 Sea Games in Phnom Penh, Cambodia.

In January, the diving contingent's assistant coach Datuk Leong Mun Yee announced that the elite divers would not be participating in the 2023 Sea Games in Cambodia to make way for young divers to gain exposure at the international level.

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Earlier, Pandelela, who represented the national team, lived up to expectations when she won the women's 10m platform event by collecting 326.05 points followed by Sarawak diver Eilisha Rania Abrial Rajagopal (235 points). Ong Rei En from Singapore won the bronze (208.25 points).

Commenting on her performance today, Pandelela said she was relieved to be back in action after last competing at the International Swimming Federation (FINA) Diving Grand Prix (GP) here, last November.

She said this competition was a platform for her to prepare herself to take on the national challenge at the 2023 Diving World Cup in Montreal, Canada from May 5 to 7.

Meanwhile, national divers dominated the podium of the men's 10m platform event which saw Bertrand Rhodict collect 404.15 points to win gold beating Jellson Jabilin who took silver (372.10 points) and Enrique Maccartney the bronze (338.75 points).- BERNAMA