Saturday August 11, 2012
Malaysians ecstatic over Pandelela’s historic Olympic win
PETALING JAYA: Pandelela Rinong Pamg who wrested a bronze medal at the London 2012 Olympics in a most unexpected way has set Malaysians riding on a huge wave of national sporting pride.
Malaysians from all walks of life took to Twitter to express their emotions and congratulate the petite Bidayuh lass from Sarawak for making history as Malaysia's first woman Olympic medallist and the first to win one outside of badminton.
The 19-year-old finished third behind China's Chen Ruolin and Australia's Brittany Broben in the 10m individual platform event.
She pipped Melissa Wu of Australia by a mere 1.1 point to take the bronze.
Cycling champion Josiah Ng, whose tweet was retweeted over 400 times by his followers, wrote: “Congratulations to my fellow Sarawakian, Pandelela Rinong for Malaysia's first female medal. #bronze #diving #teammalaysia.”
Women's squash world number one Nicol David tweeted:“Well done to our Malaysian diver Pandelela Rinong Pamg for picking up a Bronze! Amazing achievement!”
Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak's congratulatory tweet at 6.30pm yesterday was retweeted over 1,000 times by his followers.
“Great performance by Pandelela! First Malaysian Woman to win an Olympic Medal. Syabas dan Tahniah!”
Deputy Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin also tweeted, saying: “Tahniah dan syabas Pandelela kerana meraih pingat gangsa utk negara! (Congratulations, Pandelela for winning a bronze medal for the country) Well done! You did us proud!”
Another Malaysian woman, M. Vasugi, won a bronze medal in taekwondo in the Seoul Olympics in 1988 but the sport was only a demonstration event then and was not considered in the official medal tally.
Pandelela, who won the National Sportswoman Award this year, is also the country's first woman to serve as flag bearer, leading the 28-member contingent during the opening ceremony on July 27.
Former Bernama editor-in-chief Datuk Seri Azman Ujang said he and his family had spent a sleepless night watching Pandelela at the women's 10m individual platform event.
The Sarawakian said he and Datuk Dr Tiki Lafe, the MP of Mas Gading where Pandelela's home is, had been exchanging a running SMS commentary throughout the event. “She gave us some nervous moments but then she improved. This is such a fantastic achievement for the country and something completely unexpected.”
Dr Tiki said Pandelela had made the entire Bidayuh community extremely proud.
Wanita MCA secretary-general Chew Lee Giok praised Pandelela's perseverance and determination as “an encouragement to Malaysian women and youths with dreams and aspirations”.