Monday, November 14, 2011

SEA GAMES: Wendy-Mun Yee retain gold

FOCUSED: Boost ahead of 3m springboard individual

Leong Mun Yee (back) and Wendy Ng in action in the 3m springboard synchronised event at the Jakabaring Aquatic Stadium in Palembang yesterday. - Picture by HASAN ISMAIL

Leong Mun Yee (back) and Wendy Ng  in action in the 3m springboard synchronised event at the Jakabaring Aquatic Stadium in Palembang yesterday. -  Picture by HASAN ISMAILWENDY Ng received an early boost for  the 3-metre springboard individual discipline when she and partner Leong Mun Yee retained their synchro title at the Jakabaring Aquatic Centre yesterday.

 Wendy hopes to carry her form into tomorrow's 3m springboard individual where Malaysia's divers have failed to win since Mun Yee's triumph at the 2003 Vietnam edition.

   For the record, the 21-year-old has not won a major international individual title since switching from gymnastics to diving seven years ago and the Kuala Lumpur-born diver is determined to establish herself in Palembang.

   "We have somehow not won the 3m springboard individual event since 2003. Although we are the second best diving team in Asia, we have not established ourselves in this event," said Wendy yesterday.

   "It will also be my first individual appearance since making my debut in Laos, two years ago, and I hope to earn a good result but I would need to execute my dives well as divers from the Philippines, Indonesia and Vietnam have improved."

   Mun Yee-Wendy led from start to finish by scoring 48.00, 45.60, 69.30, 66.60 and 66.60 for a five-dive total of 296.10 points to finish ahead of Indonesia's Dewi Setyaningsih-Natalie Dinda (250.20).  Sheila Mae Perez-Ceseil Domeniosp of the Philippines finished third on 243.12.

   Wendy represented Kuala Lumpur in gymnastics in the Malaysia Games and also in international invitationals before switching to diving at 13.

   "I was invited by national coach Yang Zhuliang to try out diving after he spotted me at the Cheras Swimming Centre. One year after picking up the sport, I represented Malaysia in the Asian Age-Group Championships," said Wendy.    En route to winning the title yesterday, Mun Yee-Wendy were given a hostile reception by the Indonesian fans, who booed them when they were on the springboard for their first dive.

   But the Guangzhou Asian Games silver medallists remained focused to win the title.

   Mun Yee said she and Wendy were not intimidated by the jeering.

   "We expected it but were too focused on our event to realise what was happening," said the 27-year-old.

   Zhuliang said Mun Yee-Wendy did exceptionally well to retain their title.

   "Other countries have improved and so winning this title is a great achievement. Divers from Indonesia and the Philippines are trying new things and we must continue to improve in order to maintain our status as the best diving team in this region," said Zhuliang.

   Malaysia, who withdrew from yesterday's men's 10m platform synchro, are favourites in today's men's 3m springboard and women's 10m platform synchro.

Read more: NST

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