Diving: MS considering Chinese coach to replace Australian Brooker
PETALING JAYA: It will be the return of Chinese coaches as Malaysia seek to regain their diving status.
Malaysia Swimming (MS) is likely to hire Chinese coaches to turn their divers into medalists at the Paris 2024 Olympics and this will be discussed at a joint committee meeting with the National Sports Council (NSC) next week.
MS is looking for a coach as the NSC did not renew the contract of Australian coach Christian Brooker, who has been with the Malaysian diving team for almost four years.
His contract ends after this month, but Brooker has been on leave since the start of this week.
The 40-year-old, who had previously worked with juniors in Australia and England, was recruited to assist Zhang Yukun of China after Yang Zhuliang’s contract as head coach was not renewed in late 2017. .
Yukun then left after the Gold Coast Commonwealth Games in 2018 and another Chinese coach, Li Rui, was recruited.
Li Rui and Brooker were both in charge of preparations for the diving team leading up to the Tokyo Olympics last month. In Tokyo, Malaysia did not win any medals.
Andy Low, head of the diving committee for MS, said they would recommend a new Chinese coach to replace Brooker.
âWe’re going to try a different approach. We didn’t do as well as we hoped at the Tokyo Olympics last month and we need to find ways to improve, âsaid Andy.
“Paris is only three years away and we may have to revise our training schedule to bring back a medal again.
âSynchronized events are always our best hope and now we need to identify our divers.
“We had no male representative in Tokyo and we hope to change that in Paris.”
The fate of the other coaches in charge of the national team will also be reviewed, but Li Rui’s position should be secure as Pandelela Rinong won gold at the Diving World Cup in May.
The national body will also need to identify new replacement divers to be ready for the Paris Olympic qualification and find a replacement for Leong Mun Yee, 36, who competed in his last Olympic Games in Tokyo.
In Tokyo, Nur Dhabitah Sabri was the only bright spark when she finished fourth in the women’s 3m springboard individual final.
Pandelela-Mun Yee went to Tokyo as a medal contender but finished eighth in the women’s 10m synchronized platform final while Pandelela missed a third consecutive Olympic medal after a nightmarish opening dive in the individual test.
Pandelela, who won bronze and silver in London 2012 and Rio de Janeiro 2016, was last among the 12 finalists.