PANDELELA Rinong Pamg — Olympic bronze medallist.
The 19-year-old from Kampung Jugan, Bau has done good at the London Olympics.
Yes defending champion Chen Roulin from China outclassed everyone in the field. And yes, the silver went to 16-year-old Australian Brittany Broben.
But the most important medal — as far as Sarawakians and Malaysians are concerned today — the bronze, that beautiful bronze medal, went to our girl Pandelela.
It is Malaysia’s first ever Olympic medal in diving! She scored 366.50 points, well ahead of fourth-placed Melissa Wu from Australia, who managed 358.10.
This Sarawakian star also beat Russia’s Yulia Koltunova, who won a silver medal in Athens; and Beijing silver medallist and Athens bronze medallist Paola Espinosa Sanchez from Mexico. The latter was also 2009 World Championships 10m platform gold medallist.
To say that I am over the moon is an understatement. Were there nervous moments? Absolutely, especially with her first dive, but Pandelela demonstrated why she is a world champion by shaking off the nerves and coming back strong.
Pandelela has proven why she was named Malaysian sportswoman of the year and chosen to be the country’s first woman flag bearer!
Well done Anak Sarawak. We are all so proud of you!
This is what US newspaper The Republic wrote about Pandelela:
Pandelela Pamg of Malaysia won the bronze at 359.20 for her country’s first Olympic medal in diving and first in any sport besides badminton.
“Diving is not as famous as other sports,” Pamg said. “I hope this will inspire other youth to take up this sport and support the Malaysian team.”
Pamg has been busy in London. She took eighth in 3-meter springboard synchro and seventh in 10-meter synchro.
Pamg didn’t advance out of the 10-meter preliminaries four years ago in Beijing. At the 2009 world meet, she and her partner won bronze in the synchro event, becoming the first Malaysians to win a world medal.
“I’m very proud and very honored to win the first medal for Malaysia,” she said. “I hope Malaysians are proud of me.”