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Pandelela Rinong chats with the media after her gold medal on Monday.
Home sweet home for Pandelela


29 Aug 2017
Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, August 28, 2017: The smile was back on the face of Pandelela Rinong – and Malaysia smiled with her. The 24-year-old diver endured a disappointing FINA World Championships in Budapest, Hungary, last month, finishing ninth in her pet event - the 10m platform - but came back strongly to take individual gold at the 29th SEA Games on Monday.

The picturesque venue was packed to welcome the Sarawak-born Pandelela, who is one of Malaysia’s most popular athletes after winning an individual bronze medal at the London 2012 Olympics and synchro silver at Rio 2016.

Greeted by enthusiastic applause and cheers every time her name was announced, Pandelela cruised to victory with an overall points tally of 341.65 points for her five dives from the 10m tower.

Singapore’s Freida Lim Shen-Yan was second with 274.65 – 67 points behind the gold medal-winner – and Malaysia’s up-and-coming Kimberly Bong Qian Ping took the bronze with 255.05 on her SEA Games debut.

Pandelela said: “I could have done a whole lot better. There were one or two dives that were not too good. But I am still happy that I got to retain the gold, which is not an easy task in each edition.” Seeing 15-year-old Kimberly’s determination and hard work, Pandelela reminisced her younger days when she made her SEA Games debut in 2007, winning the silver in 10m platform event.

“I feel Kimberly is a hugely talented diver and her entry into the water is superb, world class. I myself need to learn from her. “I think in a year she will be at a much higher standard and raise her difficultly level,” she added.
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