PETALING JAYA: Newcomer Muhd Syafiq Puteh partnered Loh Zhiayi to a historic gold for Malaysia when they won the 3m springboard synchro mixed event at the Puerto Rico Diving Grand Prix in San Juan.
Syafiq-Zhiayi amassed 292.86 points to pull off a stunning win in the World Grand Prix Diving Circuit, finishing ahead of Chinese juniors Hu Qiyuan-Liu Lingrui who garnered 277.20.
Sebastian Villa Castaneda-Diana Pineda of Colombia collected 267.99 points to take the bronze.
It was Malaysia’s first-ever gold in the synchro mixed event of the World Grand Prix Circuit.
Syafiq made his international debut when he partnered Zhiayi to fourth place with a 279.84 total at the Canadian Diving Grand Prix in Ottawa last weekend.
Coach Yang Zhuliang was delighted with the win.
“Syafiq and Zhiayi were unlucky to miss out on the podium in Ottawa. This time, they were in their element to win the gold.
“The synchro mixed events for springboard and platform will be contested at the World Championships in Kazan, Russia, in July for the first time.
“It is not an Olympic event yet and I don’t think it will be a part of the Olympics. But you never know and we want to be ready if it happens.
“Syafiq and Zhiayi did well in training, so I tried them out in the World Grand Prix Circuit,” said Zhuliang.
Ooi Tze Liang-Ahmad Amsyar Azman were unlucky not to win another gold for Malaysia in the men’s 3m springboard synchro. They were beaten by Japanese Sho Sakai-Ken Terauchi in the last dive.
Tze Liang-Amsyar amassed 377.13 points while Sakai-Terauchi had a 378.27 total.
Tze Liang also won a third medal for Malaysia when he snatched the bronze in the 10m platform individual.
He chalked up 434.60 points to finish behind China’s gold medallist Hu Qiyuan (469.35) and Huang Bowen (468.50).
by Lim Teik Huat The Star