Friday, June 12, 2015

Divers may be ‘homeless’ when they get back

SINGAPORE: Diving has contributed eight gold medals at this SEA Games.

Yet the national divers may return home with no venue to train in after this.

The National Aquatics Centre in Bukit Jalil is going to be closed for a year for upgrading work and it is going to affect the aquatics athletes (swimming, diving and synchronised swimming).

The Amateur Swimming Union of Malaysia (Asum) have been notified of this and it is also a concern to them as they are hosting two important meets this year - the 6th Asian Diving Cup in September and the Malaysian round of the World Grand Prix circuit the following month.

The Asian Diving Cup will see the respective champions of the individual springboard and platform for men and women qualify for the Olympics as the continent's representatives.

Asum secretary Mae Chen is hoping the authorities will delay the repair works until after October.

"We were told the venue will be closed some time this month.

"We have signed contracts to host these international meets. The problem is our training venue in Bukit Jalil is the only one with proper facilities for the synchro events in this country.

"It is not a problem for the swimmers as they can train in another pool, but in diving's case, you need a proper dry gym as well.

"There is a dry gym in Bukit Jalil beside the pool and it is convenient for the divers.

"We will probably have to go to China more often if this is the case. We brought this up and hope a solution can be found," she said.

Arrangements have already been made with the National Sports Council to send the divers to train in Guangzhou to prepare for the World Aquatics Championships in Kazan, Russia, from July 24-Aug 11.

"Except for Traisy Vivien Tukiet, the rest of the Singapore SEA Games diving squad will return to China some time next week,” revealed head coach Yang Zhuliang.

"They did well at the SEA Games but we will start training from zero again in China. The World Championships is a different level from SEA Games and we hope our divers will qualify for the Rio Olympics," said Zhuliang.

The male divers bound for the world meet are Singapore Games four-gold medallist Ooi Tze Liang, Ahmad Amsyar Azman, Chew Yiwei and Muhd Syafiq Puteh.

Pandelela Rinong, Leong Mun Yee, Wendy Ng Yan Yee, Cheong Jun Hoong, Nur Dhabitah Sabri and Loh Zhiayi are the women divers going.

Traisy will head to the World University Games in Gwangju, South Korea, from July 3-14, along with Jasmine Lai and Kam Ling Kar.
 
The Star Online

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