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DIVING: NSC urged to retain diving coach

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PANDELELA Rinong has just one wish -- that Yang Zhuliang be maintained as the national diving coach by the Amateur Swimming Union of Malaysia and the National Sports Council.

Yang, who has played such a vital role in developing the national divers -- which culminated with Pandelela winning the 10m platform bronze at the London Olympics on Thursday, had spoken in the buildup to the Games that he might return to Australia after the Olympics.

Pandelela hopes that doesn't happen for Yang, she said, had achieved miracles for Malaysian diving.

"He has single-handedly managed 10 divers and despite having so much to do, all of us have progressed rapidly," said Pandelela yesterday.

"He is a coach whose dedication can never be questioned for he shares our ups and downs and is always there when we need help.

"There is still so much that Malaysian diving can achieve and I really hope that a decision is made to maintain Yang as the national coach."

Yang's achievements cannot be questioned for the national divers have indeed shown tremendous progress.

Besides the 10m platform bronze won on Thursday, Pandelela also featured in the 3m springboard synchro final with Cheong Jun Hoong and 10m platform synchro final with Leong Mun Yee. Bryan Nickson Lomas-Huang Qing also qualified for the 10m platform synchro while Yeoh Ken Nee created history by becoming the first national diver to qualify for an individual Olympic final.

Bryan had a chance to emulate that as he was in action in the 10m platform preliminary round late yesterday.

"China dominate diving simply because not only do they have the best facilities, they have a system where one coach only handles two divers, which allows total concentration. We have improved in terms of facilities but to match China, we must do what they do," added Pandelela.

NSC director general Datuk Seri Zolkples Embong said Yang's future will be determined as soon as possible.

"We, obviously, want him to stay for he has done a fantastic job with the divers. We have all seen the improvement in the divers after Yang returned (from a short stint coaching in Australia) as the divers' degree of difficulty improved.

"All of them were in a rut when Yang left and we will do what we can to ensure that he remains as the national diving coach," said Zolkples.

Pandelela Rinong with coach Yang Zhuliang during the 10m platform final on Thursday.


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