The Star : Pandelela gives season-best show to reach individual final

Diving - Gold Coast 2018 Commonwealth Games - Womens 10m Platform Final - Optus Aquatic Centre - Gold Coast, Australia - April 12, 2018. Pandelela Rinong Pamg of Malaysia in action. REUTERS/David Gray

KUALA LUMPUR: Pandelela Rinong (pic) served a surprise by qualifying for the women’s 10m platform individual final in the Diving World Series finale in Kazan, Russia.

Pandelela gave a season-best display to finish second in the first semi-final group yesterday, thus earning a place in the top-six final.

Pandelela posted 72.00, 62.35, 67.20, 78.40 and 76.80 to finish with 356.75 points.

North Korea’s Kim Mi-rae scored 359.65 points to top the first semi-final contest.

Russian Iuliia Timoshinina grabbed the last ticket from the first semi-final group with 351.10 points.

The top three divers from each semi-final grouping make the cut for the final and there was a shock as China’s Si Yajie, the world champion in 2013, missed the cut.

Si Yajie finished fourth after fumbling in her fourth dive, earning 52.80 for a total of 340.80 points.

Si Yajie combined with Lin Shan to win gold in the 10m platform synchro event on Friday.

Pandelela is the only Malaysian representative after reigning world champion Cheong Jun Hoong managed fifth with 296.10 points.

Pandelela partnered Jun Hoong to take bronze in the 10m platform synchro event on Friday, capping a perfect end to their campaign in the prestigious series.

Pandelela will have to be at her best to end her medal drought in the individual final.

Besides Mi-rae, the Sarawak-born diver will have to fight it out with reigning Olympic champion Ren Qian of China, Gold Coast Commonwealth Games champion Melissa Wu of Australia and another North Korean Kim Kuk-hyang, the world champion in 2015.

Ren Qian qualified first from the second semi-final group (361.35) ahead of Melissa (358.60) and Kuk-hyang (350.90).

“It is a high-quality final field with Olympic and world championship winners present.

“If Pandelela can stay consistent, there is a chance to get a medal,” said coach Zhang Yukun.


The Star : Keith on track to break record in his pet event

KUALA LUMPUR: Keith Lim put himself in the right frame of mind to set his first national swimming record by winning the men’s 100m freestyle race in the Malaysian Open swimming championships.

The 20-year old Kuala Lumpur lad showed he is on the right track by splashing to the gold medal at the National Aquatic Centre in Bukit Jalil yesterday clocking 51.01 seconds.

Hong Kong’s Jeremy Wong posted 51.24 for silver while national swimmer Chan Jie took bronze for Selangor in 51.48.

“This is not a tapered meet but I am happy with my time today. Actually, I am aiming to break the national record in the 50m freestyle on Sunday (tomorrow).



“I hope I can set my first national record. It will be a good boost for me as I am preparing for the August Asian Games in Indonesia,” said Keith, whose personal best of 23.33 seconds is not far from the national record time of 23.17 held by Penang’s Alwyn Tan since 2015.

Fellow international Tern Jian Han also did well to claim his second gold in the meet yesterday.

Jian Han, swimming for Johor, came out tops in the men’s 100m backstroke final in 57.05 seconds.

India’s Arvid Mani took silver with 57.98 ahead of compatriot Arijus Pavlidi, who clocked 58.08 for the bronze medal.

Jian Han won the 50m backstroke event on Thursday.

Selangor also rejoiced with two golds in the bag from Ng Yi Hao and Jordan Yip.

Ng Yi Hao splashed to victory in the men’s 200m breaststroke in 2:19.02 ahead of Johor’s Wong Fu Kang, who finished in 2:20.47.

Jordan romped to gold in the men’s 400m individual medley in 4:33.09.

Kuala Lumpur’s Sebastian Soon settled for silver in 4:33.42 ahead of Johor’s Tia’a Faang Der, who finished in 4:35.28.


The Star : Welson brushes aside injury to bag 400m freestyle gold

All smiles: Welson Sim posing with the gold medal after winning the men’s 400m freestyle of the Malaysian Open at the National Aquatic Centre in Bukit Jalil yesterday. — M. Azhar Arif/The Star

KUALA LUMPUR: Welson Sim shook off a heel injury to defend his men’s 400m freestyle title in the Malaysian Open swimming championships in Bukit Jalil.

The Sarawak-born swimmer may have not been at his best at the National Aquatic Centre yesterday but still had enough power to finish ahead of fellow national training partner Yeap Zheng Yang in 3:57.89.

Zheng Yang took the silver for Selangor in 4:00.30 ahead of India’s Sajan Prakash, who posted 4:06.20 for the bronze.

Welson is the national record holder with 3:49.48 and he also holds the meet record of 3:53.26.

Welson was, nevertheless, satisfied with the effort considering he did not push himself.

“I consider this as a training event and I don’t want to go all out as I injured my left heel while training on land two weeks ago.

“In fact, it got worse last week when I tried to push in training. It is better now and I just pace myself as my goal is to be at my best for the Asian Games in Indonesia in August,” said Welson, who bagged two golds at the Kuala Lumpur SEA Games last year in new record times.

Welson has decided not to swim the 100m freestyle event today.

“It is a sprint event and I want to rest well as I have the 200m freestyle on Saturday and the 1,500m freestyle on Sunday.”

National swimmers Tern Jian Han and Chan Jie also did well to go within a touching distance of the national record in their respective pet events.

Jian Han won the men’s 50m backstroke event in 25.67, just outside his own national record of 25.60 set at the Gold Coast Commmonwealth Games last month.

In Gold Coast, Johor-born Jian Han broke Alex Lim Keng Liat’s national record of 25.67 set 16 years ago en route to earn a place in the 50m backstroke final.

Chan Jie claimed the men’s 100m butterfly gold medal in 53.87, not too far off the national record of 53.33 set by Daniel Bego back in 2009.


The Star : Pandelela-Jun Hoong’s trust in each other leads to stunning gold

Just superb: Pandelela Rinong (left) and Cheong Jun Hoong Cheong won gold in the women’s 10m platform synchro in the third leg of the FINA Diving World Series.

PETALING JAYA: It was a wonderful day for Malaysian sports in Montreal as divers Pandelela Rinong-Cheong Jun Hoong registered an upset win in the third leg of the FINA Diving World Series.

Pandelela-Jun Hoong became the first Malaysian divers to triumph in the prestigious series after winning the women’s 10m platform synchro event on Friday.

Lew Yi Ying brought more cheers by taking bronze in the women’s individual epee (limb impairment) for Malaysia in the Wheelchair Fencing World Cup on the same day in the same city.

The Chinese team arrived in Montreal with a record of having won every single event of the 2018 FINA Diving World Series, securing 20 golds in Beijing, China, and Fuji, Japan.

The competition was so close that the top three finishers were separated by less than two points.

Pandelela-Jun Hoong, who bagged the Commonwealth Games gold medal in Gold Coast, Australia, two weeks ago, took over the lead from 2017 world championships silver medallists Kim Mi-rae-Kim Kuk-hyang of North Korea with two dives to go to nail a breakthrough win with 322.74 points.

The North Korean pair held on for the silver with 321.90 points.

China’s scratch pairing of Si Yajie-Lin Shan, the replacements for teenage duo Zhang Minjie-Zhang Jiaqi, surprisingly never led the competition and settled for bronze with 320.82 points.

Pandelela was elated with the achievement, especially as they also had to cope with jetlag after arriving in Montreal on Monday.

“This is my first gold at the Diving World Series since 2010 (her first outing).

“I feel very grateful. We trust each other and this partnership works.

“Also, thanks to my coach Zhang Yukun for boosting our confidence. I hope to stay injury free after this,” said Pandelela, who also partnered Jun Hoong to take silver in the Rio Olympics two years ago.

Pandelela-Jun Hoong have enjoyed a hot streak so far this year, having taken silver in the opening leg in Beijing before finishing with a bronze the following week in Fuji last month.

Zhang Minjie-Zhang Jiaqi won the first two legs.

Malaysia’s Nur Dhabitah Sabri-Leong Mun Yee finished sixth in the women’s 3m springboard synchro event with 256.20 points.

Dhabitah-Mun Yee took bronze in the same event at the Gold Coast Commonwealth Games.


The Star Online : Jun Hoong-Pandelela claim historic Diving World Series gold

Cheong Jun Hoong-Pandelela Rinong picked up where they left off at the Gold Coast Commonwealth Games to win nation's first ever Diving World Series gold in the 10m platform synchro. - Filepix

PETALING JAYA: Pandelela Rinong-Cheong Jun Hoong etched their place in the history books by becoming the first Malaysian divers to triumph at the prestigious Diving World Series.

Pandelela-Jun Hoong, who just bagged the Commonwealth Games gold medal in Gold Coast two weeks ago, maintained their consistent form to win the women’s 10m platform synchro event in the third leg of the series in Montreal, Canada today.

Pandelela-Jun Hoong took over the lead from the North Korean pairing Kim Mi-rae-Kim Kuk-hyang with two dives to go to nail a breakthrough win with 322.74 points.

The North Korean pair held on to take silver with 321.90 points. China’s scratch pairing of Si Yajie-Lin Shan, the replacements for teenage duo Zhang Minjie-Zhang Jiaqi, settled for bronze with 320.82 points.

It is the first time Malaysian divers stood on top of the podium in the series, which is only for the top eight ranked in the world, since its inception in 2007.

Pandelela-Jun Hoong thus continued their perfect streak to the season, having taken silver in the opening leg in Beijing, China before finishing with a bronze in the following week in Fuji, Japan last month.

Zhang Minjie-Zhang Jiaqi won the first two legs.


The Star : Synchro swimmer makes two-medal splash at China Open

Simply stunning: Gan Hua Wei won a silver and bronze at the China Open in Beijing.

PETALING JAYA: Gan Hua Wei, Malaysia’s surprise gold medallist in artistic swimming (formerly synchro swimming) at the Kuala Lumpur SEA Games last year, has struck again.

The 18-year-old made a splash for Malaysia with a silver and bronze in the China Open in Beijing.

Hua Wei claimed her silver medal in the solo technical event, scoring 73.5892 points for her energetic routine at the Yingdong Aquatic Centre yesterday.

Nada Daabousova earned Slovakia the gold medal with 78.1890 points.

On Saturday, Hua Wei earned 78.5000 points to clinch bronze in the solo free event behind Daabousova (80.8667).

Toshkhujaeva Khonzodakhon of Uzbekistan claimed the gold with 81.9333 points.

The China Open is the second leg of the FINA Artistic Swimming World Series, which comprises 10 stops in Europe, Asia and North America.

Hua Wei beat favourite Debbie Soh of Singapore to win the solo technical event at the KL Games last year. She also took gold with Zylane Lee Yhing Huey in the duet free event and her latest performance shows she is deserving of a place in the Indonesia Asian Games in August.

“It’s a good boost to my hopes of making the Asian Games and to do well in it. Actually, my focus is on the duet as the solo event will not be contested at the Asian Games.

“I’m partnering Foong Yan Nie as my previous partner Zylane is recovering from injury.

“It’s not easy as FINA have introduced new routines and we’re still learning along the way,” said the Negri Sembilan-born teenager, who likes to listen to violin music when she is free.

Hosts China won four out of the six golds contested. After China, Hua Wei and Yan Nie will travel to Tokyo for the Japan Open this weekend.


Malaysian Swimming Junior Coach Clinic

The Amateur Swimming Union of Malaysia (ASUM) will be providing a coaches clinic on the
10th-12th May 2018.

The clinic will be held over the same weekend as the first leg of the Swim Splash meet held
at the National Aquatic Centre at Bukit Jalil. National Coach Paul Birmingham will be hosting
the clinic.

The clinic is aimed at club level coaches who are working with junior swimmers aged 8-12-

Only current Level 1 or 2 coaches or those intending to complete their accreditation this
year are invited to participate.


Session 1 – Thursday 10th May 2018 , 6:00 – 7:30PM
Topic: Dryland for Junior Swimmers

Session 2 – Friday 11th May 2018, 7:00 – 8:30PM
Topic: Fundamentals of Efficient Freestyle and Backstroke

Session 3 – Saturday 12th May 2018, 7:00 – 8:30PM
Topic: Fundamentals of Efficient Butterfly and Breaststroke

Venue: National Aquatic Centre, Bukit Jalil

Cost: There will be a nominal fee of RM50 for participants.
Refreshments and participation certificate will be provided.

Please forward the registration worksheet provided on this email to:

May Tan –

The NST : Pandelela-Jun Hoong a class above in 10m platform synchro win

GOLD COAST: Despite the windy conditions, national divers Cheong Jun Hoong-Pandelela Rinong produced a dominant performance to easily win the women’s 10m platform synchro gold medal at the Optus Aquatic Centre today (Wednesday).

Jun Hoong-Pandelela, silver medalists at the 2016 Rio Olympics and bronze medalists at last year’s World Championships, mesmerised the judges with their world class dives as they earned 53.40, 70.20, 76.80, 74.88 for a five-dive total of 328.08 points. They led from start to finish.

For the record, it is Malaysia’s third Commonwealth Games title in diving after Pandelela (10m platform in 2010) and Ooi Tze Liang (men’s 3m springboard in 2014).

Compatriots Leong Mun Yee-Nur Dhabitah Sabri added up to their bronze from the afternoon’s 3m springboard synchro event by finishing third thanks to a high scoring final dive of 74.88 for a 308.16 total.

Canada’s Meaghan Benfeito-Caeli McKay took silver on 312.12.

For Jun Hoong, it was a special day as the gold was also her first medal since making her Commonwealth Games debut in 2006.

“I feel happy and blessed. Thanks to my partner, I have finally won a Commonwealth Games medal. It is also the country’s first synchro title at the games,” said the Ipoh-born Jun Hoong.

“It was windy when we were on the platform but we kept our focus and translated what we had practice in training.”

Pandelela said they were uncertain over their performance as they did not do too well in training before the event.

“However, we managed to perform well. We only knew we would win after completing our final dive.

“In diving, things can go wrong and we kept our concentration on our final dive,” said Pandelela


Mun Yee-Dhabitah felt the bronze they had won in the 3m synchro was tougher than the one they achieve in the 10m event.

“We were fourth going into our final dive in the 10m event. We promised ourselves to give our best shot on our dive and get a medal.

“The 3m synchro bronze, however, is worth more than the one from the 10m as it was more difficult for us,” said Nur Dhabitah, who only paired up with Mun Yee early this year.

Mun Yee said competing in two synchro events on the same day was taxing to her body.

“It was challenging as were here at 7.30am to train before the competition. We only returned to the Games’ Village for an hour for lunch before returning to the venue for the 10m event,” said Mun Yee.

Asked whether the Gold Coast outing, her fourth games, would be her last, the 34-year-old said: “Most likely, it will be my last. A great way to end it if it is my last.”

In the 3m synchro event, Mun Yee and Dhabitah were 61.40 points away from the gold medal but the latter miscued her entry in the pair’s final dive to finish with a 264.90 total.

They recorded 46.80, 48.00, 69.30 and 58.50 in the opening four dives.

Australia’s Esther Qin-Georgia Sheehan won the gold medal with a 284.10 total, followed by England’s Alicia Blagg-Katherine Torrance (276.90).


The Star : Mun Yee-Dhabitah settle for bronze in 3m synchro

GOLD COAST: Leong Mun Yee-Nur Dhabitah Sabri had a golden opportunity to nail a gold medal in the women’s 3m springboard synchro event at the Commonwealth Games.

However they couldn’t make the best of their chance and eventually settled for bronze with a score of 264.90 at the Optus Aquatic Centre on Wednesday.

It was certainly a waste as the pair were placed second heading into the fifth and final dive and needed a solid finish to stand on top of the podium.

But Dhabitah fumbled the entry on the last dive and they only scored 42.30 to drop down to third.

Australian pair Esther Qin-Gerogia Sheehan delivered the hosts’ first gold medal in diving with a score of 284.10 while England’s Alicia Blagg-Katherine Torrance took silver with 276.90.

Despite the bronze medal finish, Mun Yee-Dhabitah were still pleased to finish with a medal.

“I never expected a medal in this event. It wasn’t a target for us because Canada and Australia are stron,” said 18-year-old Dhabitah.

“In the Diving World Series, they were the ones always on the podium. Yet somehow we finished with a medal despite our last dive so I’m quite thankful for that.”

The pair will return to the pool in the evening session where they will join Olympic silver medallists Pandelela Rinong-Cheong Jun Hoong in the 10m platform synchro event.

In the men’s 1m springboard preliminaries, the trio of Ooi Tze Liang, Ahmad Amsyar Azman and Mohd Syafiq Puteh all qualified for the top-12 final.


The Star : Pandelela-Jun Hoong romp to first ever synchro gold medal

GOLD COAST: Pandelela Rinong-Cheong Jun Hoong lived up to their big reputations as they clinched gold in the women’s 10m platform synchro event at the Commonwealth Games.

The Olympic silver medallists and world championships bronze medallists led from start to finish as they scored 328.08 at the Optus Aquatic Centre on Wednesday.

It is Malaysia’s first ever gold medal from synchro at the Games.

The pair’s win was made even sweeter after teammates Leong Mun Yee-Nur Dhabitah Sabri delivered a huge final dive to pip Australia’s Teju Williamson-Melissa Wu to the bronze.

Mun Yee-Dhabitah who trailed in fourth after the first four dives, finished with 308.16, ahead of Williamson-Wu who had 307.80. Canada’s Meaghan Benfeito-Caeli McCay took the silver with 312.12.

With diving’s excellent one gold and two bronzes, Malaysia’s medal tally is now 3-3-5.