Malaysian na­tional div­ing coach ac­cused of rap­ing Olympic hope­ful

The Nation - - THAILAND | ASEAN PLUS -

A MALAYSIAN na­tional div­ing coach will go on trial for al­legedly rap­ing a diver who was train­ing for the next Olympics, a lawyer for the ath­lete and re­ports said yes­ter­day.

Huang Qiang is ac­cused of rap­ing the 20-year-old sportswoman at a gym at the na­tional aquat­ics cen­tre in Kuala Lumpur last month.

Huang pleaded not guilty to the charge when he ap­peared in court in the cap­i­tal on Wed­nes­day, Cheow Wee, a lawyer for the al­leged vic­tim, said.

The fa­ther of two, who was born in China but now has Malaysian ci­ti­zen­ship, faces up to 20 years in jail and can­ing if found guilty.

“She’s trau­ma­tised but she’s cop­ing,” Cheow said of the fe­male ath­lete, who can­not be named for le­gal rea­sons.

“The rel­e­vant or­gan­i­sa­tions and as­so­ci­a­tions are giv­ing her full sup­port – fam­ily and friends as well.”

Lo­cal me­dia re­ported that the diver was train­ing with the Malaysian squad for the 2020 Olympics in Tokyo.

Div­ing is one of Malaysia’s strong­est sports. In 2016, Pan­delela Ri­nong and Cheong Jun Hoong claimed the coun­try’s first Olympic div­ing sil­ver medal in the syn­chro­nised 10-me­tre plat­form cat­e­gory.

The coun­try also won all 13 div­ing gold medals at the South­east Asian Games in Kuala Lumpur in Au­gust.

Huang en­joyed con­sid­er­able suc­cess dur­ing his own div­ing ca­reer – he was a gold medal­list in the 2000 Div­ing World Cup in Syd­ney and took part in the 2012 Lon­don Olympics.

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