HAPPY ENDING: Ken Nee bids farewell with sixth springboard individual title
Yeoh Ken Nee with the 3-metre springboard gold medal, his 15th title in eight Sea Games appearances. - Picture by HASAN ISMAIL
Yeoh Ken Nee bade farewell to the Sea Games in grand style by lifting his 15th title in the men's 3-metre springboard individual event at the Jakabaring Aquatic Centre yesterday as Pandelela Rinong added the women's 10m platform individual gold to Malaysia's haul on the final day of diving yesterday.
The 28-year-old Ken Nee led from start to finish for a 458.15 total to earn his second gold after winning the springboard synchro with Bryan Nickson Lomas in Palembang on Monday.
Teammate Ahmad Amsyar Azmar took the bronze with 397.30 behind Indonesia's Akhmad Sukran Jamjami on 401.85.
Ken Nee first competed in the Sea Games at the 1995 Chiangmai edition before clinching Malaysia's first ever diving medal, a bronze, in the 10m platform individual two years later in Jakarta.
He made further breakthroughs for Malaysian diving by earning the country's first ever Sea Games gold medal at the 1999 Brunei Games and since then, except for the 2003 Hanoi edition, he has kept a perfect record in the 3m springboard discipline.
Ken Nee's success yesterday was his sixth springboard individual title and it was won in style with flawless dives.
"Eight Sea Games are enough. I will quit after the London Olympic Games. Age is not on my side and recovery from injuries is tough," said Ken Nee. "My body can't take the tough training. However, I will return as a coach."
"I thank everyone for supporting my career, especially my coach Yang Zhuliang. He supported me during the good and bad times. I want to dedicate my final Sea Games title to him."
Ken Nee qualified for his second Olympic Games in London by earning a spot in the event at last month's Diving Asian Cup in Kuala Lumpur.
However Ken Nee, along with Bryan Nickson Lomas, are bidding to earn an Olympic spot in the synchro discipline at February's World Cup in London.
Pandelela made a mistake in her third dive from an arm stand position in the 10m platform but was still too good for the rest.
The 18-year-old amassed a massive 342.90 points to retain her title and grab the final gold medal.
Compatriot Kam Ling Kar made it a one-two for Malaysia with a 260.85 total on her debut appearance. Indonesia's Della Dinarsari Harimurti took bronze on 250.50.
The Malaysian divers bagged seven titles from eight events but could have made a clean sweep if they had not withdrawn from the men's 10m platform synchro.