Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, August 14, 2020: Malaysia’s two-time Olympic Games diving medallist, Pandelela Rinong, is targeting another podium finish at Tokyo 2020 next year.
The 27-year-old diving queen, who was the first female athlete from Malaysia to bring home an Olympic medal - a 10m platform bronze at London 2012, followed by a 10m platform synchro silver at Rio 2016 - does not see her achievement in Rio as a big pressure to perform better in Tokyo.
“Pressure brings the best out of me; it is as if we are the best of friends,” said Pandelela, who looks forward to making her fourth appearance at the Olympic Games following her debut at Beijing 2008.
However, she admits that the Covid-19 pandemic has affected her training for Tokyo, wiping out three frustrating months of preparation.
“There is a lot of catching up to do on both my training and my fitness level,” she added.
“The Chinese and North Korean divers are the strongest contenders and they have been training nonstop even during the peak of the Covid-19 pandemic.”
Earning her place in the spotlight, the Sarawak-born diver will always be thankful for the everlasting motivation and inspiration from her state coach to get involved in diving. She is very glad to have chosen this path and having diving as her career is totally a blessed opportunity.
“If I could turn back time I wouldn’t change a thing and still be choosing the same path,” she said.