Sunday, March 24

Tough but it’s all worth it, says Pandelela


MIRI: Sarawak’s diving queen Pandelela Rinong said she is very pleased that she and Malaysian teammate Cheong Jun Hoong could overcome very stiff competition to win the women’s 10m synchronised platform event at the Commonwealth Games on Wednesday.

Pandelela’s latest success was met with all round applause from Sarawak sports officials in the past few days.

“I feel very happy and thankful to God for the result. It definitely does not come easy as the preparation leading up to the Commonwealth was very tough and challenging,” she told thesundaypost when contacted on Friday.

It was the second gold medal for Pandelela after competing in her third Commonwealth Games.

“I would say the 2010 Delhi was the best moment as I won gold in individual 10m and silver in synchro event,” she said.

The 25-year-old sports science undergraduate at University Malaya competed in two events – 10m platform synchro and individual – in this year’s Commonwealth Games in Gold Coast, Australia.

“The ISN Podium targeted me to achieve one gold in one of the events and that includes my own target as well but it would be a bonus if I can win another medal in the individual event but tough luck this time around,” she revealed.

She also takes much pride in the performance of the national diving team.

“A decade ago we were not the diving powerhouse to begin with but we slowly got to that level step by step and continue to be recognised internationally along the way,” she said.

On a personal note, she expressed gratitude to her supporters for their strong and endless support which has made her even more determined to succeed in the sport.

“I never feel prouder being the only Bidayuh competing in Commonwealth Games,” she added.

In the coming few months, Sarawak’s only Olympic medallist will have a hectic schedule competing in the Diving World Series in China and Russia as well as the Asian Games in Indonesia.