KUCHING: Sarawak are banking on young athletes to spearhead their challenge in diving at the 19th Malaysia Games (Sukma XIX) in Perak from Sept 17 to 21.
The diving competition will be held at the Amanjaya Aquatic Centre of Ipoh City Council Sports Complex.
Sarawak are fielding seven divers aged between 11 and 16, including two from the last Sukma squad, Ellisha Rania Abrial Rajagopal and Kimberley Bong.
According to head coach Rosatimah Muhammad, the youngest divers are 11-year-old Dayang Nursharzyra Awang Nasaruddin and 12-year-old Elvis Priestly Climent who won medals at the Singapore Junior Diving Championship in July.
Ellisha captured two gold
medals while Elvis bagged one gold and teammate Bertrand Rhodict won two gold and one silver medals.
“We are fielding three girls and four boys and they will be competing in four events namely the 10m platform, synchronised 10m platform, 1m springboard and synchronised 3m springboard for the women’s category.
“The boys meanwhile will compete in the 1m springboard, 3m springboard, 10m platform, synchronised 3m springboard and synchronised 10m springboard,” she said.
Among the top teams to beat in this year’s Sukma are men’s defending champion Selangor, Federal Territory, Sabah and Penang.
At the last Sukma in Kuching, Sarawak won a gold medal through Kimberley and Ellisha in the women’s 7.5m synchronised platform and another gold in the men’s synchronised through Sylvester Peter Gaing and Carlysle Chan Wee Chiek.
Sylvester and Carlysle have exceeded the Sukma age limit while former state diving head coach Xiao Xia had returned to her homeland in China.
Rosatimah took over the head coaching duties and assisted by Carlysle Chan Wee Chiek.
Wesley Inyau Wela was
appointed as state’s diving development centre coach.
In the women’s team are Kimberly Bong Qiang Ping (16), Eilisha Rania Abrial Rajagopal (13), Dayang Nursharzyra Awang Nasaruddin (11) when the men’s team comprise Enrique Maccartney Harold (15), Bertrand Rhodict Lises (13), Elvis Priestly Climent (12) and Awang Sharzan Nasrin Awang Nasaruddin (13).
The assistant chef-de-Mission for Sarawak’s diving squad is Datuk Henry Jinep while the team manager is Marwawi Malikie.