PETALING JAYA: Diver Chew Yiwei may get three chances to land the elusive SEA Games gold medal in Singapore next month.
The 19-year-old Yiwei competed in just one event – the 3m springboard – in his SEA Games debut in Myanmar two years ago and he bagged a bronze. He is the only diver in the elite squad yet to secure a SEA Games gold medal.
But his second outing, in Singapore from June 5-16, will see him stepping up to a bigger role as head coach Yang Zhuliang is training him for both the 3m springboard and platform disciplines as well.
And Yiwei is more than ready to shoulder the extra responsibility now that he is tipping the scale at 62kg.
“I need the strength to push down the board to help me execute a better dive.
“The coach wanted me to prepare for the springboard because I might be asked to take part in the World Championships in Kazan in July ... it is a qualifier for next year’s Rio Olympics,” said Yiwei, who is training with the rest of the national team in Guangzhou, China.
While the slots for the platform individual and synchro, where Yiwei will partner Ooi Tze Liang, are confirmed, Zhuliang is still undecided about the springboard individual and synchro.
He is looking to see how Yiwei and Ahmad Amsyar fare in training.
The fourth member of the men’s team is Muhd Syafiq Puteh. The seven women divers going for the SEA Games are Pandelela Rinong, Leong Mun Yee, Cheong Jun Hoong, Wendy Ng Yan Yee, Loh Zhiayi, Nur Dhabitah Sabri and Traisy Vivien Tukiet.
Yiwei believes he is ready to put on a better show thanks to the podium finish at the Asian Games in Incheon, South Korea, last year.
He bagged the 10m platform synchro bronze medal with Ooi Tze Liang at the Asiad.
“After two years in the team, I feel that I’ve improved a lot,” said Yiwei, who wants to challenge himself by upgrading to a higher degree of difficulty.
“There’s no point using easy routines to win the SEA Games title.”
by Lim Teik Huat - The Star