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By Lian Cheng
KUCHING, July 27: Sarawak’s diving princess Pandelela Rinong Pamg and her teammate Leong Mun Yee did not make it to to the podium in Tokyo Olymics women’s 10m synchronised platform event at the Tokyo Olympic Aquatics Centre today.
The duo scored 277.98, the lowest among the eight teams competing today.
China’s Chen Yuxi and Zhang Jiaqi as expected, secured the gold with a high score of 363.78 points while the United States of America team of Jessica Parratto and Delaney Schnell took the silver with a total of 310.80 points.
Mexico’s Meaghan Benfeito and Caeli McKay bagged the bronze with a total score of 299.16.
For Pandelela, however, her journey at the Tokyo Olympics held under the shadow of Covid-19, is not the end yet.
With her earlier gold medal at the Fina Diving World Cup in May, Pandelela qualified for the Tokyo Olympics’ women’s 10m platform diving event which is scheduled for August 4 at the same venue.
The Aug 4 preliminary contest will see Pandelela competing with 29 other contestants to enter the finals.
Pandelela first caught the world’s attention when she won bronze in the 10m platform diving event at the 2012 London Olympics, making her the first female Malaysian athlete to win an Olympic medal.
She followed this up with silver in the 10m synchronised platform diving event with teammate Cheng Jun Hoong at the Rio Olympics in 2016.
In May 2021, the pride of Kampung Kupuo Jugan in Bau once again showed her mettle when she won the nation’s first gold medal at the Fina Diving World Cup in the women’s 10m platform diving final while also qualifying for the women’s 10m platform diving individual event for Tokyo 2020.
Apart from being the first Malaysian female athlete to win an Olympic medal, Pandelela has also set many other ‘firsts’ for the nation in the international sporting arena.
Taking part in the Fina World Championships in 2009 for the first time, Pandelela won the bronze medal in the 10m platform synchronised diving event. This was also Malaysia’s first ever medal at the World Diving Championships.
At the tender age of 15, she was the youngest Malaysian female diver to qualify for a World Championship final, after finishing fifth in the 10m platform diving event.
Pandelela was also Malaysia’s first female flag bearer at the Olympics in the London 2012 Games. — DayakDaily