Pandelela dealing with pressure and expectation
Posted on August 18, 2012, Saturday
Diving star now faces whole new challenge
PUTRAJAYA: Malaysian diving queen Pandelela Rinong is ready for the pressure that comes with being a local sports celebrity, including the public’s high expectation.
Citing British diver Tom Daley as a source of inspiration, the London Olympics bronze medallist hopes to adopt a calm and cheerful attitude outside training.
“Despite being the focus of the British media and people during the last Olympics, he (Tom Daley) continues to be focused on training and competing, as well as his cool demeanour even after training,” she said after meeting Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak at his office yesterday.
Also present were her parents, Hartini Lamim and Pamg Joheng, as well as Youth and Sports Minister Datuk Seri Ahmad Shabery Cheek.
During the 15-minute meeting, the Prime Minister presented a sports incentive scheme worth RM100,000 plus RM200,000 in Amanah Saham Wawasan share units and a personal gift.
Pandelela, 19, also received a scholarship from the Cemerlang Foundation to further her studies at University Tun Abdul Razak in the field of her choice.
However, Pandelela said she has yet to decide what to pursue, due to her hectic training schedule.
“I don’t like Add Math so I hope to study something that doesn’t require that subject,” she joked to reporters.
Pandelela also thanked the Prime Minister for the reward and aims to train harder for more success at the Rio Olympics in four years.
“I am also grateful to the National Sports Council for the help provided, as well as Tun Ahmad Sarji Abdul Hamid (as Malaysian Olympic contingent chef de mission) for always supporting me at the Olympics,” she said, adding that she wanted to buy something special for her parents with the reward.
In another development, Pandelela lauded the government’s decision to increase allocation for the development of diving, which includes appointing four new coaches and upgrading the National Aquatic Centre.
“I believe the allocation will bring more success to the diving sport and help train new talent,” she added. — Bernama