14th General Election (GE14)
Newly appointed national diving coach Christian Brooker (left) has pledged to help Malaysia achieve the next level in diving by incorporating extensive sports science methods into training. Pix by Saddam Yusoff

BUKIT JALIL: Newly appointed national diving coach Christian Brooker has pledged to help Malaysia achieve the next level in diving by incorporating extensive sports science methods into training.

The Australian is eager to start work, and his focus will be to stabilise and improve the national team that were rocked by various issues in recent month.

Contrary to initial reports, Brooker will not lead the national programme but will instead assists interim head coach Zhang Yukun.

The China-born Yukun has been handling the team since the departure of former head coach Yang Zhuliang, whose contract was not renewed.

Joining from the South Australian Sports Institute, the 37-year-old will be offered a two-year contract upon the approval of his work permit.

Brooker, who arrived in Malaysia last week, said he is looking to build a strong relationship with the national divers.

"I have been observing the national team training over the past week. The divers are focused and very determined to make progress and this positive attitude makes my job easier,” said Brooker at a press conference on Friday.

"I hope to build a solid relationship with the athletes, gain their trust and develop their confidence so they can do well in competitions.

"I will be looking at all areas including sports science which will help enhance their potential.

"I will also be working closely with a psychologist to help develop the divers’ self esteem and also using my own strengths to improve their technique and strategy. Injury prevention will also be a priority to get the most out of training."

He stressed that the focus will be on improving, and not dismantling, the positives which have already been achieved through China-style methods previously implemented by Zhuliang.

"It will be a challenge, however, I have worked with teams using Chinese (training) philosophies in the past.

"The plan is to merge sports science and evidence-based training with the Chinese way of doing things so we can establish a culture and plan for generations to come.

"This will allow us to be successful continuously,” he added.

Brooker added: “Previously, I had successfully turn around a diving club that lacked the focus and unity in Australia.”

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