Despite Pandelela Rinong’s recent erratic form in the six-leg World Series, the Amateur Swimming Union of Malaysia (Asum) is confident the diver will retain her gold medal in the women’s 10m platform at the Glasgow Commonwealth Games on July 23-Aug 3.
Pandelela finished second overall behind China’s Liu Huixia in the World Series but failed to finish on the podium in the final three legs. She only did so as some competed in selected legs.
Canada’s Meaghan Benfeito and compatriot Roseline Filion along with Britain's Tonia Couch have all improved, and the trio are expected to give the Malaysia a tough time in Glasgow.
Asum, however, is optimistic its divers will show progress in the World Cup in Shanghai on July 15-20 followed by the Commonwealth Games.
“The World Series is not a good gauge for Pandelela and other divers. The format is such that the qualifiers have to compete in back-to-back events. It is taxing due to the travelling time from one venue to the other,” said Asum secretary Edwin Chong yesterday.
“The first two rounds were held in Beijing and Dubai, then the divers had to travel to Moscow and London before the last two legs in Canada and Mexico.
“We have to take into account fatigue due to travel time. Pandelela did her best and made progress in several aspects of her dives.”
Edwin said the Commonwealth Games will be different as everyone will start on the same footing.
“Our divers should win titles if they peak on the day of their respective event. Our divers will head to China soon for centralised training to work on their weaknesses before the World Cup,” Edwin added.
In India four years ago, Pandelela became the first Malaysian to win a diving gold in the Commonwealth Games.
The team also clinched one silver through Pandelela-Leong Mun Yee in 10m platform synchro and two bronze (Yeoh Ken Nee-Bryan Nickson Lomas in men’s 3m springboard synchro; and Lomas in 10m platform).