Head coach Yang Zhuliang said he made the decision to prolong Pandelela’s career.
The 21-year-old, a bronze medallist in the 10m platform at the 2012 London Olympics, sustained a left knee injury while training in China last season. She failed to recover in time and was not at her best for the Commonwealth Games and Asian Games.
She failed to defend the 10m platform individual title, settling for the silver at the Commonwealths. At the Asiad, Pandelela failed to land a medal in the 3m springboard – her pet event – although she managed to win a silver in the platform synchro with Leong Mun Yee.
“From now on, Pandelela will only focus on the platform events. It is just too risky for her to compete in the 3m springboard individual and synchro.
“In springboard diving, you put a lot of stress on one knee. The doctor said there is a risk of her suffering a serious injury. Pandelela cannot afford a long recovery period as it’s the Olympic qualifying period this year.
“In the springboard, we can always depend on Wendy Ng, Cheong Jun Hoong and Dhabitah Nur Sabri.
“Pandelela had a good break after the Asiad and she has recovered from her injury. We don’t want her to injure her knee again,” said Zhuliang.
Pandelela’s season begins with the opening round of the six-leg Diving World Series in Beijing from March 13-15. She won the silver in the platform individual and partnered Mun Yee to a bronze in the platform synchro in Beijing last season.
Pandelela was also the circuit’s overall runner-up in the individual platform as well as the synchro with Mun Yee.
by Lim Teik Huat - The Star