KUALA LUMPUR, Aug 4 – Malaysian diver, Pandelela Rinong, can thank her lucky stars as she sneaked into the semifinals in the women’s 10m platform individual event and it was a dramatic till the end of the preliminary round on Wednesday.
The Tokyo Aquatics Centre also witnessed the exit of another Malaysian hopeful when the Perak-born diver Cheong Jun Hoong could only manage a poor scored of 251.80 points to finish 26th in a field of 30.
Jun Hoong paid a heavy price with poor scores in the first two dives. Although she bucked up in the remaining three dives her scores were not good enough to pose a threat to others.
For the record Jun Hoong won the world title in Budapest in 2017. At the Rio Olympics five years ago she won the silver with Pandelela in the women’s synchronized 10m platform.
On Wednesday, Pandelela seemed to be on track with a top five finish after the first two dives but nerves got the better of her after that as she faded away.
In fact, while waiting for some divers to complete their final dive, Pandelela out of the top 18.
She rode on Brazilian diver Ingrid Oliveira’s slip to secure the last slot for the semis – an 18th place and stay alive.
The Sarawak-born Pandelela, who won a bronze at the 2012 London Olympics, remains Malaysia’s medal hope in the event after winning the World Cup in May. With a strong field in the Tokyo Olympics, over confidence could be disastrous for the Malaysian.
China remains strong favourite in the event. In the preliminary round the Chinese took the top two places.
Chen Yuxi, the 14-year-old sensation, topped the list with 390.70 points and compatriot second on 364.45. Delaney Schnell was third with 360.75.

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