Diving star Pandelela to carry Jalur Gemilang at London Olympics


Pandelela Rinong

KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysian diving queen Pandelela Rinong has been chosen to carry the Jalur Gemilang at the London Olympics which will be held from July 22 to Aug 12.

The 19-year-old is the first national female athlete to be accorded the honour.

Her selection was officially announced by Malaysian Olympic contingent chef de mission Tun Ahmad Sarji Abdul Hamid after a visit to the badminton squad training centre at Stadium Juara in Bukit Kiara yesterday.

“We will have the flag handing-over ceremony at the Prime Minister’s Department on July 11,” he told reporters.

Earlier, Ahmad Sarji met with highway cycling athlete Mohd Adiq Hussainie Othman and Malaysian National Cycling Federation (MNCF) deputy president Datuk Naim Mohamad.

Ahmad Sarji who was accompanied by National Sports Council director-general Datuk Seri Zolkples Embong, said he was satisfied with the training programmes conducted by MNCF and the Malaysia Badminton Association for their athletes.

To a reporter’s question, Ahmad Sarji said national badminton shuttler Datuk Lee Chong Wei was not chosen to carry the flag as his event would only start two days after the opening ceremony and athletes’ parade.

He also declined to predict the number of medals that the national contingent would win this time.

“Those competing in the Olympics are the best of athletes. Various factors can influence the outcome. Our hope is that our national athletes perform their best,” he said.

To date, 28 national athletes for the badminton, diving, cycling, shooting, archery, open water swimming, fencing and sailing events have confirmed their participation. — Bernama