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By Lian Cheng
KUCHING, July 26: Sarawak’s diving princess Pandelela Rinong Pamg is scheduled to take part in the women’s 10m synchronised platform diving event with her teammate Leong Mun Yee at 2pm tomorrow (July 27), on the third day of the Tokyo Olympics diving competition.
Though China’s Chen Yuxi and Zhang Jiaqi are seen as the frontrunners for the gold, Pandelela, however, is always one to look out for and cannot be ruled out together with Leong.
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 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 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