KUCHING: Sarawak has high hopes for Malaysia’s diving queen, Pandelela Rinong to bring back home it’s first Olympic medal at the ongoing Olympic Games in London.
Social Development Minister Tan Sri William Mawan Ikom said yesterday he was also hoping very much for the Bidayuh lass from Bau to win a medal and do us proud.
“This is the golden chance for her and we believe that she has the ability and determination to do it … and in the grace of God also,” Mawan said of the Malaysian team flag-bearer.
The minister said Pandelela would get an incentive from the state government if she returns with a historic medal irrespective of colour as a token of recognition for her amazing feat.
“We will also propose to give her an award for the achievement if she succeeds in winning a medal at the Olympics,” he said after presenting the KGS Captain’s Alumni challenge trophy to the organisers at his office at Bangunan Baitul Makmur, Petra Jaya yesterday.
“Being an Olympian, the national body will have an incentive for her and as far as we are concerned, Pandelela, being an Olympian from Sarawak, we also have our arrangements. Some we have announced and some we have given,” he said.
“Pandelela is our sports icon and she has displayed her ability and commitment to win glory for the country. All her efforts must be recognised and we should share the pride in her achievement,” Mawan added.
He said the incentive and award for Pandelela would serve to motivate other athletes who would follow Pandelela’s footsteps.
The 19-year-old advanced to the final after securing the fifth spot in the semifinals of the Women’s 10m Platform yesterday.
In the event held at London Aquatics Centre, the Malaysian 2012 sportswoman of the year award winner collected 352.50 points to make the cut to the final.
Only the 12 top divers compete in the final which will be held at 2 am (Malaysian time) today.
After securing the second spot in Wednesday’s preliminary round, Pandelela fell short of points in two dives, in the first (forward 3-1/2 somersault) and fourth dive (inward 3-1/2 somersault).
She collected 67.50 and 67.20 points in the two events but the spot light was on China’s Chen Ruolin who the led the field with 407.25 pts.
On Wednesday, Pandelela qualified for the semi-finals after finishing second with 349 points with five dives in the preliminary rounds.
Chen Ruolin topped the qualifying with 392.35 points while Germany’s Christin Steur was third with 341.75 points.
However, Pandelela’s teammate and fellow Sarawakian Traisy Vivien Tukiet failed to make the semi-finals after finishing in 22nd spot with 285 points.
Before the women’s individual 10m platform, Pandelela failed to shine in the 10m springboard synchronised event with Leong Mun Yee. They finished in seventh place in the event.
In the 3m springboard syncho on July 29, Pandelela and partner Cheong Jun Hoong finished last in the field of eight pairs.