PETALING JAYA: Malaysia’s Pandelela Rinong was given a timely reality check after a dismal performance in the individual 10m platform final of the FINA Diving World Series in Edinburgh, Scotland, on Sunday.
The London Olympic bronze medallist was unable to repeat the consistency she showed in the semi-final. As a result, she plunged to the bottom of the six-woman final in the series’ third leg.
The 20-year-old Bidayuh lass was looking good for a medal finish given her comfortable semi-final win and the absence of world and Olympic champion Chen Ruolin. But Pandelela, who won a bronze in the opening leg in Beijing last month, started on the wrong foot. She made two poor dives that earned her only 61.50 and 63.80 points. From there onwards, it was obvious that the podium was out of her reach.
She garnered 73.60 in the third dive but flopped again in the fourth with a disastrous 59.20.
The 2010 Commonwealth Games gold medallist signed off with a 72.00 for a 330.10 total.
China, the world’s diving superpower, picked up the gold through 14-year-old Si Yajie. The world junior champion was a runaway winner, accumulating 405.60 points.
Compatriot Liu Huixia took the silver with a 374.50 total while Mexican Alejandra Orozco chalked up 367.45 points for the bronze.
Said Malaysian head coach Yang Zhuliang: “Pandelela did not do badly, it is just that the standard of competition is high at the World Series. It is a good wake-up call. Now she needs to work a lot harder on her consistency ahead of the World Championships in Barcelona in July.”
Nevertheless, it was still a good outing for Malaysia with Pandelela-Leong Mun Yee winning the silver in the 10m platform synchro and a bronze through Cheong Jun Hoong-Wendy Ng Yan Yee in the 3m springboard synchro.
The medal won by Jun Hoong-Wendy was Malaysia’s first in the discipline at a world-level competition.
The Malaysian squad will head for Moscow tomorrow for this weekend’s fourth leg. The last two legs will be in Guadalajara (May 17-19) and Mexico City (May 24-26).