SEA Games double gold medallist Nazreen Abdullah has quit the national diving team, citing personal reasons and injury.
Nazreen, 16, made a huge splash in Myanmar last year by winning the men’s 10m platform and synchro (with Ooi Tze Liang) gold medals.
The Bukit Jalil Sports School student also won two gold in the same disciplines at the Asian Diving Cup, the same year.
His achievements earned him the 2013 Education Ministry Malaysian Schools Sports Council-Milo boys’ Athlete of the Year award.
Nazreen, once regarded as Malaysia’s next Bryan Nickson Lomas, took a short break after the Sea Games due to a nagging arm injury.
He reported for training in March for a brief period before tendering his resignation as the injury was still affecting him.
Nazreen’s retirement has left the depleted men’s team with only three divers in Commonwealth Games champion Ooi Tze Liang, Chew Yiwei and Ahmad Amsyar Azman.
The team also have another diver in Muhd Danial Sabri but the teenager has been advised not to dive due to a head injury.
Amateur Swimming Union of Malaysia (Asum) assistant secretary Mae Chen said Nazreen’s decision is a setback for the men’s team.
“He is a talented diver with the potential to go far in the sport. We have only three full time divers in the men’s squad. The coach is scouting for able replacements,” said Mae at National Aquatic Centre in Bukit Jalil yesterday.
“Danial cannot dive as he has something growing near his ear. He has been advised to rest as diving from the 10m platform may aggravate his injury.”
On whether Asum was coaxing Lomas to return from retirement, Mae said the former Olympian has his hands full with coaching and studies.
“Lomas has not dived for two years and I’m not sure whether he has been keeping himself fit. It is not easy to return to diving as the sport is very complex,” Mae added.
By Ajitpal Singh- NST