Yeoh: No 'entity' involved in diving issue

KUALA LUMPUR: Youth and Sports Minister Hannah Yeoh has confirmed that there is no third party or "entity" disrupting the national diving team.

Yeoh, however, stressed that communication among athletes, coaches and Malaysia Aquatics (MAS) must be improved following the squad's dismal performance at the Doha World Aquatics Championships earlier this month.

Diver Pandelela Rinong had on Monday, upon returning from Doha, told the media that "something happened" which had affected the national team, although she did not delve into details.

This sparked speculation as to what "entity" she was referring to.

"I was able to meet Pandelela and Nur Dhabitah Sabri yesterday and I am satisfied with their explanation," Yeoh said.

"As Pandelela said, when she came back (from Doha) she was asked questions by the media and her reply did not imply (involvement) of a third party or entity.

"It (issue brought up) was not because of interference from a third party or entity. However, I feel that they need to improve their communication between divers, coaches and the association (MAS), this is very important.

"I feel that this is a problem we can handle.

"I will meet with the association to hear what they have to say and we will find a way to make things better."

Yeoh said she did not have the authority to decide whether Pandelela and Dhabitah, who have both failed to qualify for the Paris Olympics and remained in the Road to Gold (RTG) programme.

"Although the decision appears clear, I am not able to do so (decide) through a press conference. We have to wait for the RTG committee to hold a meeting later this month.

"I cannot make the decision alone, we have to wait for the committee."

RTG is an elite athlete preparation programme intended to provide cream-of-the-crop athletes the additional support they need to challenge for gold in Paris, the 2028 Summer Olympics in Los Angeles and other major international competitions.

In addition to extra sport science support, competition exposure and coaching, athletes under RTG also receive an additional allowance of RM3,000 a month.

Yeoh was speaking after officiating at the 'Leap to the Stars' High Jump Challenge organised by the Shah Alam Athletics Club event at the 1Utama Shopping Centre in Petaling Jaya today.

Most Popular
Related Article
Says Stories