Pandelela Rinong and Leong Mun Yee compete in the women’s 10m synchro platform final diving event in the FINA World Championships. AFPpic
IN the background of the stunningly beautiful panoramic view of Barcelona, Pandelela Rinong and Leong Mun Yee were agonisingly denied their chances of winning a historical World Championship silver medal in the women’s 10m platform synchro as they cruelly lost by 0.27 points difference to arch rivals, Canada.
It is their second bronze medal from this event. They were third in in Rome 2009, but failed miserably in Shanghai, China, two years ago to finish sixth.
Today, the Malaysian pair were second entering the final dive, scored 331.14 points to finish behind Meaghan Benfeito-Roseline Fillion of Canada (331.41) and the mighty Chinese pair of Chen Ruolin-Liu Huixia (356.28).
With the ‘invincible’ Ruolin-Huixia never looking like losing from the first dive, several countries including Malaysia could only set their sight on the remaining two podium spots.
Our pair, who finished a disappointing seventh in the London Olympics, were boosted by two superb opening routine dives (52.80 and 56.40) and immediately settled in silver medal position.
Pandelela-Mun Yee then executed another two clean dives, bringing scores of 69.30 and 73.92 to keep holding firmly on the position until the fifth and last attempt.
By the completion of four rounds, Mexico, represented by reigning Olympics silver medalist Paola Espinosa and Alejandra Orozco and Britain’s Tonia Couch-Sarah Barrow, a bronze winner at last year’s World Cup were already out of contention despite challenging at one stage.
This opened a two-way battle for Malaysia and Canadian, bronze winners in London Games, to fight for silver.
Pandelela-Mun Yee were under immense pressure as they were leading by a mere 2.61 points.
For the last dive, both pairs performed the same routine – Back 2 1/2 Somersault 1 1/2 Twist Pike (5253B) – carrying a difficulty degree of 3.2, and it was the matter of who could pull off a better finish.
First to go, the ever-reliable experience Benfeito-Fillion delivered a stunner to earn a superb 81.60 points. The two girls came out from the pool delighted and hugged each other knowing they have delivered a blow to the Malaysians.
Pandelela-Mun Yee, too, performed a superb execution with clean entry which earned them 78.72.
Unfortunately their hope of overtaking the second spot from their opponent dashed after scoreboard shown their they only managed third placing with their total scores amassed, missing out on a painful deficit of 0.27 points.
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