|PANDELELA RINONG, NEW OLYMPIC STAR!|
|Written by Admin|
|Saturday, 11 August 2012 06:25|
MEDALLIST......Pandelela, a dark horse turned bronze medallist and our first female Olympic winner.
ALL OF MALAYSIA'S hope for Olympic glory was pinned on Lee Chong Wei winning badminton gold at last.
But then quietly out of nowhere came a cherubic 19-year-old Sarawakian girl, all 5'3" (160cm) of her, a dark horse at the London Games, to win the bronze medal in the women's 10m individual platform final and dive into history as Malaysia's first female Olympic winner.
Not many thought our team could win, especially since they had failed their last six events. But Pandelela Rinong went against the odds and delivered. Her win was our first-ever Olympic medal in a sport other than badminton.
SMILING.....Pandelela waves a victorious smile after winning her first Olympic medal.
She garnered a total of 359.20 points to finish third behind China's Chen Ruolin who won gold with 422.30 points and Australia's Brittany Broben who took silver on 366.50 points. This also makes Pandelela the first Malaysian woman to win an Olympic medal.
Pandelela told reporters she hopes her achievement in London will inspire others to take diving up as a competitive sport.
"I'm so happy with winning this medal. It's something that I had only dreamed off and now diving can look at it as a turning point. I feel that a huge burden has been lifted off my shoulders and we can now look forward to better times."
HUGS.....Pandelela hugs her teammate after coming from behind to win the bronze.
Pandelela had a poor start in the final, earning only 58.50 points for her first dive and placing 10th in the ranking. By her third dive, she was still in 10th place—until her last two dives were well received by the judges, netting 81.60 and 76.80 points.
"After the first dive, I told myself not to be worried and to stay calm," she said. "At that point I wasn't thinking of a medal at all. I just wanted to do my best. I'm glad that my routines worked and some of the others registered lower points."
This may be Pandelela's most high-profile feat but it's not her first achievement by far. At the 2009 World Aquatics Championships, she won bronze in the women's 10m synchronised platform final with Mun Yee Leong.
KISSES......Pandelela's dad, Pamg Joheng, kisses her through the telly as he and his other daugher, 14-year-old Pici Parnia, watch her make her dive into medal contention from their home in Samarax Garden, Kota Samarahan.
She then took silver at the 2010 Summer Youth Olympics in Singapore in the girls' 10m platform and 3m springboard finals. Finally at the Commonwealth Games 2010 in New Delhi, she was champion of the women's 10m platform final and came home with Malaysia's first gold from the games.
|Last Updated on Saturday, 11 August 2012 06:27|