PANDELELA’S FORM TAKES A DIVE
But coach Zhuliang stands by her despite poor results in World Series
NATIONAL diving coach Yang Zhuliang has come to Pandelela Rinong’s defence over her poor form in the women’s 10m platform individual event of late.
Pandelela failed to reach the final for the second straight week after finishing only fifth in the first semi-final group in the Guangzhou leg of the World Series yesterday.
The Sarawakian, who took bronze with Cheong Jun Hoong in the platform synchro event on Thursday, was on target for the final after scoring 70.50, 71.05 and 72.00 in her opening three dives.
However, she flopped her fourth dive with 52.80 points and slipped two rungs to fourth.
Pandelela scored 72.00 in the final dive for a 338.35 total but it was not enough as she finished fourth behind North Korean Kim Mi Rae, who posted 339.40 points.
Last week, she also failed to make the final in the Beijing leg of the series.
Russian Iuliia Timoshinina posted 340.20 points to join reigning world champion Kim Kuk Hyang of North Korea (353.95) and Rio Olympics champion Ren Qian of China (367.90) as the three qualifiers from the first semi-final group.
Compatriot Nur Dhabitah Sabri also missed the cut by finishing fourth in the second semifinal group with a 302.10 series.
Despite Pandelela’s failure, Zhuliang said he is satisfied with her progress.
“Pandelela took a break from diving after the Rio Olympics to focus on recovery and examinations. She only started serious training after Chinese New Year in China,” said Zhuliang when contacted in Guangzhou yesterday.
“I am satisfied with the performances of Pandelela, Jun Hoong, Wendy Ng and Dhabitah. They are making progress as their performances here were better than in Beijing.
“I am confident they will make further progress for the World Championships in Hungary in July and the Kuala Lumpur Sea Games the following month.
“It is important that they remain fit and free of injuries for the current season.”
Pandelela’s last success in the platform individual event was winning bronze in the world meet in Kazan, Russia, in 2015.
The prestigious world series has two remaining legs in Russia on March 31-April 2 and Canada on April 21-23.
The divers will return to Kuala Lumpur today to continue their training.
Pandelela failed to reach the final of the World Series for the second straight week .