KUALA LUMPUR: Diver Pandelela Rinong is a doubtful starter for the Asian Championships in Dubai on Nov 22-25 because of a left ankle injury.
Head coach Yang Zhuliang said the 19-year-old London Olympics bronze medallist sustained the injury in training recently and it has prevented her from executing the full somersault routines.
“Pandelela cannot jump without putting stress on her ankles ... she is not doing the full somersault routines," said Zhuliang.
“She has, however, shown signs of improvement today but I want to see her condition first before making a decision next week.
“It’s the end of the year and I do not want to push any diver if they are not in good condition.
“There is still a week left before we have to sumbit the final squad list for the Asian meet,” said Zhuliang, who signed a two-year contract extension to handle the national squad last week.
If Pandelela stays back, then her partner Leong Mun Yee will also be ruled out of the women’s 10m synchro platform.
Malaysia are not sending a big squad to Dubai as London Olympian Traisy Vivien Tukiet, Jasmine Lai and Lam Ling Kar will be sitting for the SPM examinations this month.
The ones shortlisted are Bryan Lomas, Ooi Tze Liang, Chew Yiwei, Cheong Jun Hoong and Wendy Ng Yan Yee.
Zhuliang is not putting high hopes on the divers to shine as they did not undergo the kind of intensive preparations in the run-up to the London Olympics.
“The divers are only training here and preparations are not as good as if we had sent them to China,” said Zhuliang.
“Our facilities here are adequate for normal routines ... not for high-intensity training, which our divers need if they are to fight for medals.
“China, I understand, are also sending their national divers and will start as favorites.”
The Asian meet, held every two years, also includes swimming, synchro swimming and waterpolo.
- The Star
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