DIVER Yeoh Ken Nee has two missions in Laos and the more difficult one is leading the Malaysian contingent out for the Sea Games opening ceremony in Vientiane today.
"It is a great honour to be the nation's flag bearer in the Sea Games. I am saying this because only the most outstanding athletes are given this job," said Ken Nee at the Wattay International Airport in Vientiane yesterday.
"Yes, I will be nervous out there but it will also be my proudest moment. However, I should not get carried away as my goal here is to win gold medals."
Ken Nee is one of the country's most prolific divers, having won 10 gold medals in the last five Sea Games.
The 26-year-old, who has been competing for the past 16 years, is down for two events - the 3-metre individual springboard and the 3-metre springboard synchronised.
He has been dominant in the individual springboard, having won gold in all editions since 1999 in Brunei.
|BRYAN NICKSON LOMAS|
Ken Nee, however, may face a stiff challenge in the springboard synchronised as his regular partner Rossharisham Roslan is injured.
In Rossharisham's absence, Ken Nee will partner Olympian Bryan Nickson Lomas, and the pair showed promise in their first competition together by winning a silver medal in last month's Asian Championships in Foshan, China.
"Lomas and I are getting better as a pair and I am confident I will retain both the gold medals in the springboard. We have also benefited from the one-month training stint in Kunming, China as we learnt new skills and increased the level of difficulty in our routine," he added.
The Kuala Lumpur-born diver hopes to qualify for the 2012 London Olympics.
"My desire and passion are still strong despite competing since I was 10. The disappointment of not doing well in the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games has spurred me to train harder for the next one," Ken Nee said.
Ken Nee was the first Malaysian to win a world junior medal -- a silver -- in the 10m platform event in the 2000 edition.
|Yeoh Ken Nee is one of the nation’s most prolific divers.|