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.

Read more at https://www.thestar.com.my/sport/diving/2018/05/06/in-form-on-platform-pandelela-gives-seasonbest-show-to-reach-individual-final/#KKx0tStHjQOGq2K4.99