April 26, 2023
PETALING JAYA – Petite teen diver Lee Yiat Qing could spring a big surprise in her SEA Games debut in Cambodia next month.
The 15-year-old will be out to beat the odds and shine in the women’s platform event after only four months of focused training for the competition.
Yiat Qing is among three new divers making their SEA Games debut in Phnom Penh, where they will be hoping to make a good impression for Malaysia. The other two newbies are Eilisha Rania and Enrique Maccartney Harold.
The SEA Games stage will serve as an ideal springboard to bigger competitions and a relative rookie like Yiat Qing is certainly aware of the strong Malaysian winning streak in the women’s platform at the SEA Games for the last two decades.
The likes of Leong Mun Yee, Cheong Jun Hoong and Pandelela never failed to produce glory for Malaysia in previous SEA Games.
Yiat Qing, who will dive in the women’s 10m platform alongside Eilisha, is excited at the prospect of competing in the SEA Games for the first time.
“I am a springboard diver but I was asked to focus on the platform from the start of the year as there was a chance I will be selected to go for the SEA Games.
“I have made it to the team and I am looking forward to performing. Hopefully, I can do all my dives without any big mistakes.
“Actually I do not have any big targets as this is my first SEA Games but I will definitely give my best,” said Yiat Qing, who took up diving at the age of six.
Inspired by her idol and two-time Olympian Pandelela Rinong, Yiat Qing’s bigger goal in the future is to qualify for the Olympics.
“The SEA Games is not my first international competition. I went outside Malaysia to compete for the first time in the World Junior Championships in Montreal, Canada.
“I didn’t do so well but it was a good experience for me,” added Yiat Qing, who finished 14th in the 1m springboard and 19th in the 3m springboard, thus failing to reach the top 12 final.
Only four individual diving events will be contested in Phnom Penh. The other women divers in the fray are Kimberly Bong and Ong Ker Ying for the 3m springboard.
Mohd Syafiq Puteh will be defending his men’s 3m springboard title alongside Gabriel Gilbert Daim while Bertrand Rhodict and Enrique will compete in the 10m platform.