Bad decisions can lead the dive to dive deeper into a sink hole
CHINA and Malaysia were conspicuously absent from the entry list for the world junior diving championships, which kicked off yesterday in Kiev, Ukraine.
The absence of China is understandable.
The country that has dominated the championships in recent years is not participating due to the country’s zero Covid-19 policy, which has also seen it decline participation in almost all major sporting events except the Olympic Games in Tokyo in August.
But Malaysia skips the world junior competition? Now that’s pretty puzzling to me.
Their absence is a reflection of the bad situation Malaysia finds itself in in the sport.
The age group categories have been revised to ensure that divers are still eligible to compete. The biennial event, which has been rescheduled due to Covid-19 issues, now consists of Group A (17-19) and Group B (15-16).
For Malaysia, the World Juniors meet was once the arena for promising young talent to emerge.
Their efforts to develop a diving team for the future paid off when Yeoh Ken Nee won a historic silver medal in the men’s springboard at the 1999 edition in Calgary.
Then it was Bryan Nickson Lomas ‘turn to make history when he won gold on the boys’ springboard at the 2004 edition in Brazil.
Elizabeth Jimie also became the first female winner when she dominated the girls ‘springboard while Bryan took bronze in the boys’ platform when Kuala Lumpur hosted the 2006 edition.
Those bright sparks made an impact in the senior squad.
However, no Malaysian has stepped onto the podium in the world junior competition since, although Pandelela Rinong, Nur Dhabitah Sabri and Cheong Jun Hoong have managed to shine on the world stage.
But for how long will Malaysians depend on seniors? Pandelela, 29, is in the twilight of his illustrious career, as is Jun Hoong, who will be 33 when Paris hosts the 2024 Olympics.
The failure of the diving team to come back with a medal at the Olympics is already a wake-up call for Malaysia Swimming to do something to verify the slip in the sport.
Instead, Australian coach Christian Brooker lost his job because he was not retained by the National Sports Council while Chinese coach Li Rui increased the pressure on the team by saying they could still be medal contributors at the Asian Games in Hangzhou and the Commonwealth Games in Birmingham. year.
Malaysian diving needs to strengthen its junior programs. Instead of skipping the world junior competition, they should have seized the opportunity to expose future talent, but they wasted a good opportunity.
But luckily, common sense prevailed in another case when the powers that be called off a victory parade scheduled to celebrate Kuala Lumpur’s Malaysian Cup success in football.
The event was supposed to take place in the city center and culminate with a show last night, but thank goodness club president Tan Sri Annuar Musa tweeted in the afternoon that the parade had been canceled.
Federal Territories Minister Datuk Seri Shahidan Kassim and Kuala Lumpur Mayor Datuk Seri Mahadi Che Ngah were to address the crowd.
But according to Annuar, the safety and health of the city’s fans must be a priority.
Many were already questioning the wisdom of declaring a public holiday for Kuala Lumpur, Putrajaya and Labuan at the last minute.
With Covid-19 infections still hovering in high numbers, it doesn’t make sense to hold a victory parade knowing how difficult it would be to impose health security measures when a large crowd gathers.