I WAS so pleased to read today that Sarawakian Pandelela Rinong had won for Malaysia the country’s first medal at the World University Games (Universiade) in China.
Well done to the gutsy Bidayuh lass –who is likely to still be nursing a sore back — for winning the silver in the 10m platform.
She has shown a steely determination to overcome physical discomforts to reach her ultimate goal. No excuses.
Her silver medal is also a fantastic achievement as she was just 3.5 points behind Mexico’s Paola Espinosa.
Espinosa won the gold medal in the 10m platform at the 2009 World Aquatics Championships in Rome.
The Mexican also won a bronze medal in the 10m synchronised platform with her partner Tatiana Ortiz at the 2008 Olympic Games in Beijing.
Pandelela beat China’s Wang Xin, who is the Beijing gold medallist for the 10m synchro platform and double World Championship gold medallist – 10m platform in 2007 and 10m synchronised platform in 2009.
Don’t forget Pandelela also won a gold medal in the same event during last year’s Commonwealth Games in New Delhi.
What a shinning example she is for all Malaysians.
May God continue to bless and protect her as she continues on her journey to even greater achievements.
How The Star reported Pandelela’s achievement:
Diver Pandelela puts on a classy display to bag silver at the Universiade
By LIM TEIK HUAT
PETALING JAYA: Diver Pandelela Rinong put on a classy show to end the country’s wait for a medal at the World University Games (Universiade) at Shenzhen Natatorium yesterday.
Pandelela served up one of her best performances in the women’s 10m platform individual to secure the silver and in the process, emerging as the first Malaysian diver to make the podium at the Universiade.
Pandelela chalked 381.75 points to finish second with Mexico’s Paola Espinosa, the world champion in 2009, taking the gold just ahead at 385.25 points.
It could have been gold for Malaysia but a second dive was not properly executed and Pandelela notched 65.25 to slip to fifth.
But Pandelela came back strongly by scoring the highest marks in the field for her third (78.40) and fourth (84.80) dives to move into silver medal position.
China’s Wang Xin, who partnered Chen Ruolin to the gold medal at the 2008 Beijing Olympics, fought back to take bronze with 370.55 points.
Ruolin, the reigning world champion, pulled out of the event at the eleventh hour but is expected to be in action in the women’s 10m platform synchro with Wang Xin today.
Pandelela, who had qualified early for the London Olympics in the same discipline at the World Championships in Shanghai last month, was thrilled to win the first medal for Malaysia.
Pandelela had qualified for the final with the second highest marks (356.30) behind Espinosa (366.60), the bronze medallist at the world meet last month.
The 19-year-old Sarawakian was the third best finisher in the preliminaries in the morning (329.15) behind Wang Xin (334.50) and Espinosa (347.60).
“I did not expect to win a medal as I thought it will be tough as most of the divers who took part at the world championships stayed back in China to prepare for this competition.
“This is the best scores I’ve attained in a major competition so far.
“I improved on my scores at each stage until the final and it gives me confidence to look forward to tomorrow’s platform synchro.
“I hope we can get another medal tomorrow,” said the reigning Commonwealth Games gold medallist in the 10m platform.
Pandelela will partner Leong Mun Yee for the women’s 10m platform synchro today while Ahmad Amsyar and Fakhrul Izzat will dive in the men’s 1m springboard individual.