By Lian Cheng
KUCHING, Aug 5: Placing seventh in Women’s 10m Platform semi-final event today, Sarawak’s diving princess Pandelela Rinong has qualified for the finals, which is scheduled to take place today at 2pm local time.
At the Tokyo Aquatics Centre during the Tokyo Olympics 2020 this morning, Pandelela managed to earn the coveted spot in the finals after clearing two preliminaries with a score of 315.75 points.
She will continue to face high scorers such as Quan Hongchan and Chen Yuxi from China and other Olympians from the United States, Australia and Great Britain.
In 2012, Pandelela first caught the world’s attention when she won bronze in the 10m platform diving event at the London Olympics, making her the first female Malaysian athlete to win an Olympic medal.
She followed this up with a silver medal in the 10m synchronised platform diving event with teammate 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 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