Pandelela pays tribute to family, coaches after World Cup victory

Pandelela Rinong Pamg warmed up for the Tokyo Olympics with a sizzling performance at the Diving World Cup when she bagged the gold medal today.

The Sarawakian, who hails from the gold mining town of Bau, some 30km from Kuching, became the second Malaysian diver to be crowned world champion in the sport when she accumulated 355.70 points from her five dives.

“Firstly, I want to thank God, my beloved family and my godmother (Molly Chan) for the support through the years,” an overjoyed Pandelela said.

“Credit should also go to my coaches (Christian Brooker and Li Rui), team manager Mae Chen and the support staff from the National Sports Institute.”

She also thanked teammates Nur Dhabitah Sabri, Leong Mun Yee, Wendy Ng, Ooi Tze Liang, Chew Yiwei, Syafiq Puteh, Jellson Jabillin and Hanis Nazirul Jaya Surya.

Japan’s Matsuri Arai (342.00) and Canadian Caeli McKay (338.55) won the silver and bronze medals respectively.

Cheong Jun Hoong won the gold medal in the same event at the 2017 World Championships.

Cheong, who qualified for the Tokyo Olympics when she topped the qualifying rounds yesterday, however, finished last in the semifinals with 237.35 points.

Pandelela finished third in the semifinals with 333.00 points. McKay was first (343.85) and Andrea Spendolini Sirieix, second (336.30).

Only the top eight divers qualified for the final. The Tokyo Olympics is from July 23-Aug 8.