By LIM TEIK HUAT PETALING JAYA: Laos SEA Games double gold medallist Yeoh Ken Nee is taking up an audacious challenge that could make him the “Ironman” of the diving competition at the Commonwealth Games in New Delhi in October.
Ken Nee is going back to train on the 10m platform partnering another SEA Games double gold medallist, Bryan Nickson, for the synchronised event in New Delhi.
The last time Ken Nee competed on the high board was at the 2001 Kuala Lumpur SEA Games.
And it may not be the only event that the duo will forge a partnership. Ken Nee may have to reprise his successful SEA Games partnership with Bryan for the 3m springboard synchronised event if Rossharisham Roslan fails to make good recovery from a knee injury within the next six months. Rossharisham did not get to partner Ken Nee in the defence of the title at the Laos Games.
He made a historic plunge for Malaysia with a silver in the 1m springboard at the last Commonwealth Games in Melbourne four years ago and was subsequently denied a chance for a second medal when he was forced to pull out of the 3m springboard due to fever even though he led after the preliminaries.
Bryan went on to earn a second silver in the 10m platform synchronised, partnering the now-retired James Sandayud and the two medals won were the first for Malaysia in Commonwealth Games diving.
Ken Nee said that the chief coach, Yang Zhuliang, wanted him to try out a partnership with Bryan in the 10m platform synchronised for the first six months.
The divers will return to training today after a two-week break following their return from the Laos Games.
“I have not train on the 10m platform for eight years but the coach believe there is a chance to aim for a medal if Bryan is capable of matching my difficulties,” said the 26-year-old, who is set for a third Commonwealth Games appearance.
“It will be hard for a newcomer to complement Bryan as he needs at least 10 months to perfect the high difficulties to use in a high-level competition like the Commonwealth Games.
”I will give it a shot as it maximises my chances of winning medals. Our form on that day usually determines where we finish. If I don’t do well in one event, I can still try to aim for another.”
However, Ken Nee added that it would be much tougher to aim for medals in New Delhi, considering they are up against world-class divers from Australia, Britain and Canada.
”There are world championship and Olympic medallists in the field. I have never competed in four events at a Commonwealth Games but I guess I have to be ready for anything,” he said.