MALAYSIA completed a haul of six out of the eight gold medals on offer at the Sea Games diving competition after Leong Mun Yee and Ng Yan Yee got their act together to bag the 3m springboard synchronised gold at the National Sports Complex aquatics centre in Vientiane yesterday.
This was another partnership that was formed in a hurry, with Mun Yee and former rhythmic gymnast Yan Yee only managing to squeeze in a month of training together at the national team's base in Kunming, China before the Sea Games, the same as Bryan Nickson Lomas and Yeoh Ken Nee who won the men's 3m platform synchronised gold on Saturday.
Mun Yee and Yan Yee recovered from a low-scoring first dive after which they were ranked second behind Vietnam's Le Thi Thuy Hoang and Thanh Tra Hoang, but topped the scoring in the following four dives and scored a total of 294.72 points to bag the gold.
Indonesia's Maria Nathalie Dinda and Sari Ambarwati took silver with a total of 258.45 points, pipping the Vietnamese pair with strong fourth and fifth dives.
"This is my first gold medal in the Sea Games and it is only the second time I've combined with Mun Yee in competition. In the Asian Championships (in Guangzhou, China) earlier this month, we got the bronze and now we got the gold," said Yan Yee.
It is already a remarkable achievement thus far for 16-year-old Bukit Jalil Sports School student Yan Yee, who began her diving career three years ago after being roped in by national coach Yang Zhuliang when she was in the Kuala Lumpur rhythmic gymnastics team.
"The coach told me then that I was suited to diving but at that time I couldn't even swim. So, I had to learn how to swim and then took up diving. After the results I've got this year, this is definitely the sport for me," said Yan Yee.
It was 24-year-old Mun Yee's second gold medal of this Sea Games after winning the 10m platform synchronised with Pandelela Rinong. She also took bronze in the individual 3m springboard on Thursday.
"We've done well this time around. Even with a new partnership we managed to win the gold, so it looks good for the team as we can now immediately plan for the Commonwealth Games and Asian Games next year," said Mun Yee.