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Pandelela Rinong, Sarawakian

Pandelela Rinong cements her name in diving history books

pandelela kazan

OUR Sarawakian diving queen Pandelela Rinong has done it again.

If anyone thought that her bronze medal at the last Olympics was a fluke, well she’s proven all her detractors wrong by winning bronze at the World Championships in Kazan, Russia for the 10m individual platform.

Yes this brilliant athlete from Kampung Jugan, Bau has indeed done her State and country proud by being the first Malaysian diver to ever reach such heights.

She has won bronze before at the World Championships, but for the 10m platform synchro with partner Leong Mun Yee in Rome (2009) and Barcelona (2013).

Pandelela was also the first to qualify for the next Olympics in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.

This Bidayuh superstar has indeed proven she’s a brilliant champion and deserves all the praise that has been heaped on her since her Olympic win.

In fact, her coach Yang Zhuliang is confident that she will again find herself on the Olympic podium.

Let’s pray that she remains injury free and will continue to increase in skill and confidence so she will again bring glory to our State and country.

The story from The Star:

Pandelela wins bronze medal at World Championships in Kazan

By Lim Teik Huat

PETALING JAYA: Pandelela Rinong plunged her way into the history books by bagging bronze in the women’s 10m platform individual final at the World Aquatics Championships in Kazan, Russia.

The 22-year-old, already assured of a place in the Rio de Janeiro Olympics after qualifying for the final, put up a consistent display throughout the five-dive competition to nail the Malaysia’s first ever individual medal at the prestigious meet.

Pandelela chalked 75.00, 65.25, 81.60, 81.60 and 81.60 to finish with 385.05 points.

North Korea’s Kim Kuk-hyang was the surprise winner. The 16-year-old, who is making her debut in Kazan, shocked the field by grabbing gold with 397.05 points.

It was North Korea’s first-ever success in world championships history.

Newcomer Ren Qian saved China the blushes by taking silver on 388.00 points after outgoing champion Si Yajie could only settle for fourth on 384.40 points.

Pandelela already had two bronze medals to her name in the 10m platform synchro partnering Leong Mun Yee – in Rome (2009) and in Barcelona (2013).

Pandelela, the bronze medallist at the 2012 London Olympics, advanced to the final in eighth place the day before and will cherish her feat in Kazan, made sweeter by the fact that she beat defending champion Si Yajie to the bronze.

Si Yajie, who won on her debut in Barcelona two years ago, was leading with one dive to go but a 72.00 on her final attempt saw her fade out of contention.

The story from the Malay Mail:

Coach: Malaysia’s dive queen Pandelela will soar in Rio

By Wan Noriza Meor Idris

PETALING JAYA, July 31 — Barely 24 hours after diving queen Pandelela Rinong booked her berth at next year’s Olympic Games, coach Yang Zhuliang backed his star pupil for another podium finish in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.

Pandelela, the 2012 London Olympics bronze medallist, qualified for her third Summer Games by making the World Aquatics Championships’ 10m platform final in Kazan, Russia, on Wednesday.

Yang said Pandelela, 22, now has the time to learn new dives in preparation for Rio.

“Of course I’m optimistic she can win a medal in Brazil,” said Yang of Pandelela, who made her Olympic debut as a 15-year-old in Beijing in 2008.

“Pandelela is special. She has this spirit I’ve never seen. She’s a fighter and will make Malaysia proud again next year.”

Yang’s confidence was shared by Pandelela’s former teammates Yeoh Ken Nee and Bryan Nickson Lomas.

Yeoh, now a national juniors coach, is confident Pandelela can return from Brazil with a medal.

After the World Series ended in May, Pandelela was third in Fina’s world ranking for women’s 10m platform.

“She can deliver again in Rio. Her recent results back this up,” said Yeoh.

“Other countries are getting better but diving is subjective and anything can happen.

“If she keeps at it in the next one year, not many will be able to beat her,” added the two-time Olympian.

Bryan, who featured at three Olympics (2004, 2008 and 2012) before retiring in 2013, said Pandelela “is a rare breed because she has so much natural talent”.

“She never gives up,” said Bryan.

“To qualify for three Olympics at her age is an incredible achievement. She is living proof anyone can be successful if they work hard.”

In 2012, Pandelela became the first Malaysian woman to win an Olympic medal. Her success was also the first time the country had won a medal in a sport other than badminton.

She is among a handful of Malaysian athletes who have qualified for the Olympics three times or more, including Bryan, teammate Leong Mun Yee (2000, 2004, 2008 and 2012) and shuttler Lee Chong Wei (2004, 2008 and 2012).

Pandelela’s achievement has encouraged other divers to emulate her.

“She is a humble and hardworking person,” said Wendy Ng Yan Yee, who made her Olympics debut in London three years ago.

“She inspires me a lot and I hope to one day win a medal like her,” added the 22-year-old.

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