exceptional Ken Nee wins his 14th Sea Games title as young Traisy makes her mark
Leong Mun Yee (left) and Traisy Vivien perform their routine en route to winning the 10m platform synchro gold medal at the Jakabaring Aquatic Centre yesterday. - HASAN ISMAIL
Yeoh Ken Nee captured his 14th Sea Games title while Traisy Vivien overcame the jeers to earn a breakthrough performance as Malaysia made a sweep of the synchro disciplines at the Jakabaring Aquatic Centre yesterday. Ken Nee and partner Bryan Nickson Lomas were a class above as they maintained Malaysia's excellent record in the men's 3m springboard synchro at Sea Games level.
The duo did not allow a weight difference of 16kg affect their performance as they led from start to finish to record a 392.31 total ahead of Filipinos Jaime Asok-Nino Carog Bedoya, with 342.99 and Indonesia's Andriyan-Ahmad Sukran on 332.40.
"What can I say about winning my 14th Sea Games title? It is an exceptional record. I hope to carry on by winning my 15th here," said Ken Yee.
It was Malaysia's fifth triumph in the event and Ken Nee had a hand in each of them. Ken Nee and former partner Rossharisham Roslan won it in Kuala Lumpur (2001), Manila (2005) and Korat (2007) before he paired up with Bryan to emerge champions in Laos two years ago.
Ken Nee is making his eighth Sea Games appearance since his debut in 1995, from which he returned without a title.
Ken Nee said he and Bryan were ordered by coach Yang Zhuliang to treat yesterday's event like any big competition.
"He (Zhuliang) wanted us to maintain our performance like in training and I am glad that we managed to win the title without hiccups," said Ken Nee, who paired up with Bryan to earn silver at last year's Guangzhou Asian Games.
"Bryan and I are actually not ideal partners as he weighs only 54kg while I am 16kg heavier and it is quite hard for us to synchronise when we take off. The judges can notice the difference. We are training hard to cover up this weakness by trying out new things as we hope to qualify for the Olympics in this event," added Ken Nee, who has a chance to make it a double when he competes in the 3m springboard individual tomorrow.
Traisy dedicated her first ever Sea Games gold medal to her parents Tukiet anak Jen and Nila anak Jinggot after she and partner Leong Mun Yee easily captured the women's 10m platform synchro gold medal.
"I come from SMK Tabuan Jaya in Kuching, the same school where Pandelela (Rinong) and Bryan studied and learnt to dive. My parents were fans of Bryan and they wanted me to be like him," said Traisy, 17.
"I did not like it at first but I couldn't quit then because my parents wanted me to train hard and become a national-level diver."
Mun Yee-Traisy swept their way to the title by posting a five-dive total of 306.66 points ahead of Indonesia's Della Dinarsari Harimurti-Sari Ambarwati (268.62) and Myanmar's Sandar Nyunt Soe-Mar Hnin Hay (155.73).
The jeering did not affect Traisy as she kept her nerves to synchronise her dives with Mun Yee to win her first title.
"I heard the jeers but I was prepared because they also did the same when we trained. We were determined to silence them and we did it in style," she added.
Traisy made her debut in Laos two years ago where she took silver behind Pandelela in the 10m platform individual.
Bryan and Wendy Ng will lead Malaysia's challenge in the men's 10m platform and women's 3m springboard individual today.