Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Doubts over Pandelela

PANDELELA Rinong is racing against time to regain her form for the Commonwealth Games, which starts today, in Glasgow.

National coach Yang Zhuliang said Pandelela’s knee is still troubling the gold medal prospect and that the World No 4 may not be able to make an impact.

Pandelela stunned her more illustrious rivals in New Delhi, four years ago, by becoming the first Malaysian diver to win a title in the Commonwealth Games. She achieved it in the women’s 10-metre platform individual.

However, an unfit Pandelela may face a huge hurdle in Glasgow considering that her rivals have improved.

The Sarawak-born skipped training for seven days before last week’s World Cup in Shanghai after spraining her left knee during centralised training in Guangzhou.

But Zhuliang brushed aside speculation that Pandelela will withdraw from the Commonwealth Games.

“Pandelela will definitely travel to Glasgow and compete for titles. However, she will only participate in two events instead of three as I do not want her to aggravate her injury. Her condition is not so good,” said Zhuliang at National Aquatics Centre in Bukit Jalil yesterday.

The 21-year-old will compete in the platform individual and syncho with Leong Mun Yee but not in the 3m springboard synchro (with Cheong Jun Hoong).
Zhuliang lamented that Pandelela will not be able to cope with three events given her current condition.

“She cannot do three events over four days of competition (July 30-Aug 2). We cannot stress her too much as we also need to think of the Incheon Asian Games.

“We have options in Nur Dhabitah Sabri, Wendy Ng, Jun Hoong and Mun Yee to pair up for the springboard synchro,” he said.

In the recent World Cup, Pandelela was forced to withdraw from both synchro events. The Olympic bronze medallist wore a knee brace as she only competed in the platform individual, which she finished sixth.

Despite Pandelela’s condition, Zhuliang believes others will rise to the occasion and repeat the team’s three-medal haul from the previous edition.

“Ooi Tze Liang and Jun Hoong did well in their respective individual events (men’s 10m platform and women’s 3m springboard) in the World Cup, so there is hope there apart from the synchro events,” Zhuliang added.


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