IT should not be just about winning SEA Games gold medals as far as diver Yeoh Ken Nee is concerned but he also hopes to see the youngsters coming up the ranks.
And Ken Nee will be happy if the four Malaysian youngsters have medals to show in their maiden outing in the Games.
Competitions begin tomorrow and the four rookies in the nine-member team are Mohd Fakhrul, Abdul Rashid, Wendy Ng and Traisy Vivien.
“These are the divers who, hopefully, will be taking over from us to win honours for the country in the SEA Games and Asian Games,” said Ken Nee, who will be making his seventh appearance in the SEA Games in Laos.
“It’s important for them to gain the experience as they have never competed in any senior-level competitions like these before. They have only taken part in the junior age-group meets. This is the chance for them to move up the ranks.
“It’s also important for them to win medals as it will see a raise in their allowance from the NSC (National Sports Council).”
Fakhrul is the second Malaysian representative alongside Ken Nee in the men’s 3m springboard individual competition.
Wendy will partner Mun Yee in the defence of the women’s 3m springboard synchronised title for Malaysia while Abdul Rashid is forming an untested partnership with Bryan Nickson Lomas for the men’s 10m platform synchronized event.
Traisy will be challenging alongside world championship finalist Pandelela Rinong in the women’s 10m platform individual event.
The divers arrived in Vientiane on Tuesday and had a chance to train at the competition venue yesterday.
Malaysia are targeting a five-gold medal haul even though they are without 2007 Korat Games gold medallists Rossharisham Roslan and Elizabeth Jimie.
Rossharisham was excluded after going for a knee operation while former world junior champion Elizabeth has quit the national squad.