Diver wants to qualify for second event in Olympics

Wendy Ng Yan Yee (pic) has to give up on celebrating Chinese New Year with her family this week but she does not mind making the sacrifice.

The 26-year-old diver has a bigger goal to chase down. The celebrations can come after she qualifies for a second event in her third straight Olympics in Tokyo later in August.

Wendy left for a three-week training camp in Chengdu, China, last week and will only return home next month.

She has already qualified for the women’s 3m springboard individual by virtue of making it into the final at the World Aquatics Championships in Gwangju, South Korea, last July.

But her mission is not over as she wants to earn a second Olympic ticket in the women’s 3m springboard synchro with partner Nur Dhabitah Sabri.

Nur Dhabitah has also made the cut for Tokyo for the women’s 3m springboard individual event after winning the Asian Diving Cup in Bukit Jalil last September.

“There are four final spots to be decided at the Diving World Cup in Tokyo in April, ” she said. “The meet is the last Olympic qualifiers and my target is to finish in the top seven to earn a quota place for the country.

“We can’t afford to take long break as the Diving World Cup is less than three months away. I am okay to train throughout the Chinese New Year period because this is an Olympic year and it’s just a small sacrifice for our own good.

“Besides, it’s not something new. We have always had our training camps at the start of the year.

“I have never dived at the Olympics in the women’s 3m springboard synchro before, so to qualify is also a main goal for me, ” said Wendy, who made a big breakthrough by reaching the final in the women’s 3m springboard individual at the 2016 Olympics in Rio de Janeiro.

It was at the 2012 London Olympics where Malaysia first had representation in the synchro diving events. Cheong Jun Hoong partnered Pandelela Rinong in the women’s 3m springboard synchro and they finished eighth.

In Rio, Jun Hoong partnered Nur Dhabitah to place fifth in the event, so Malaysia can look forward to a new pairing if Wendy’s wish comes true.

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