Another long wait for national divers?

National divers Pandelela Rinong and Leong Mun Yee made the second dive in the women's 10-metre (m) platform synchronised event at the 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games at the Tokyo Aquatic Centre, today. Pandelela Rinong Pamg and Leong Mun Yee only finished eighth with 277.98 points. -- fotoBERNAMA (2021) COPYRIGHTS RESERVED

13/10/2021 07:32 PM

By Amiril Muttaqien Meketar

KUALA LUMPUR, Oct 13 -- It seems like the national divers have to endure another long wait before they start splashing the pool again.

This is due to the fact that the International Swimming Federation (FINA) have yet to release any competition schedule for next year’s calendar.

The last time the national diving camp went to taste competitive action was in the recent Tokyo Olympic Games.

However, only Pandelela Rinong, Cheong Jun Hoong, Nur Dhabitah, Leong Mun Yee and Wendy Ng Yan Yee qualified for the world’s biggest multi-sports event while the rest of the squad had to cheer their fellow comrades thousand miles away from Malaysia.

Ergo, Malaysia Swimming (MS) are planning to organise a national diving circuit at the National Aquatics Centre in Bukit Jalil, here, early next year in a bid to help the divers to get back into action.

Its secretary-general Mae Chen said the event, which will likely be held in February or March, will also be a platform for divers to get them ready to take part in three big sporting events next year which - the SEA Games in Hanoi, Vietnam; Commonwealth Games in Birmingham, United Kingdom and Asian Games in Hangzhou, China.

 “We hope to get the green light from the Youth and Sports Ministry to organise the national circuit in February or March, depending on the COVID-19 situation here. I hope everything goes well because it is quite intimidating to gain approval from the ministry though,” she told Bernama when contacted today.

Mae also hopes to send out the invitation to other countries such as Singapore, Japan and South Korea, should the authority loosen the standard operating procedures (SOP), including quarantine process for foreigners to enter the country.

As there’ll be no competitions until next year, Mae said all the divers are currently training as usual in Bukit Jalil.

In the meantime, Mae informed that they are still waiting for the confirmation from the National Sports Council (NSC) to rope in a new assistant coach from China starting next year.

“We hope to get him (assistant coach) in January, the only thing pending at the moment is the approval from NSC as they still need to wait for the allocation that will be announced in the 2022 Budget end of this month,” she added.

She said the former coach for Brazil and Indonesia will help national diving coach Li Rui, and concentrate more to train the elite divers.