ORMER world junior champion Bryan Nickson Lomas has suddenly quit the national diving team, citing studies as the main reason.His stunning decision is a huge blow to national coach Yang Zhuliang, who sees him as one of the most talented divers in his squad.
Bryan, a three-time Olympian, was initially granted six-month leave in January to focus in his pursuit of a sports science degree at Universiti Malaya with the understanding that he will train on a part-time basis.
However, Bryan made an about-turn by handing over his resignation letter to the National Sports Council (NSC) last Tuesday.
"NSC has accepted my resignation letter. I quit because I want to focus on my studies. However, I may return upon graduation in two years' time if the team still need me. I will continue to train and keep fit," said Bryan yesterday.
"I want to complete my degree first... it is priority. I have seen athletes struggling with studies because of training. I know a female athlete, who has yet to complete her degree after eight years. I do not want to end up like that."
"I have not officially informed the Amateur Swimming Union of Malaysia and Zhuliang. I will do so either Friday (tomorrow) or Monday."
Bryan, 23, who made his Olympic debut at the 2004 Athens edition, made a breakthrough by winning Malaysia's first ever World Cup medal, a bronze, with Huang Qiang in the 3-metre springboard synchro in London last year.
He has also won several medals in the Sea Games, Asian Games and Commonwealth Games and is the first Malaysian gold medallist at the World Junior Championships, achieved in Brisbane nine years ago.
Bryan was supposed to report for training next month and prepare for his fifth straight Sea Games in Myanmar in December. By Ajitpal Singh