LONDON: Pandelela Rinong has revived Malaysia’s hopes of securing a second medal at the London Olympics after displaying a sterling performance in qualifying for the semifinals of the women’s individual platform diving event at the Aquatics Centre here Wednesday.
Pandelela, from Sarawak, collected 349.35 points to finish in second spot in the preliminary round today, behind the leader, China’s Chen Ruolin who accumulated 392.35 points.
The 19-year-old could have been the top qualifier but made a mistake in her third dive, an armstand back double sommersault and 1 1/2 twist, in which she only managed 52.80 points.
Competing in her second Olympics after the Beijing Games of 2008, Pandelela amended her mistake by collecting 81.60 points in the fourth dive.
However, Traisy Vivien Tukiet, the other Malaysian diver in the running for a semifinal berth, failed to make the cut after finishing in 22nd place out of 26th divers in the preliminary round.
Traisy, 18, also from Sarawak, collected 285.00 only points. Only the top 18 divers advance to the semis.
The national contingent have only won one medal, a silver, so far at the London Games.
It was won by Datuk Lee Chong Wei who beat archrival Lin Dan of China in the final of the badminton men’s singles competition.
In other developments, Datuk Naim Mohamad has voiced his intention to step down as the deputy president of the Malaysian National Cycling Federation in taking responsibility for the national cycling contingent’s poor performance at this Games.
The contingent failed to win any medals despite being deemed as medal prospects. Naim is also the contingent’s manager.
Thursday, Pandelela will be in action in the semis of the 10m platform while national long distance swimmer Heidi Gan will be competing in the 10 kilometre swimming marathon.
Meanwhile, Bryan Nickson Lomas, the last Malaysian to be competing at this Games, which ends on Sunday, will be beginning his challenge in the men’s 10m platform individual diving competition on Friday. — BERNAMA