Monday February 4, 2013
Zhuliang plans to send untested juniors to Myanmar
PETALING JAYA: Malaysia plan to extend their dominance in diving at the Myanmar SEA Games in December and coach Yang Zhuliang wants to do so with the youngsters.
Eight golds are up for grabs in diving. Malaysia, who won seven golds in Indonesia two years ago, have been overall champions in diving since the 2005 Manila SEA Games.
It will be interesting to see whether Malaysia can achieve the target with Zhuliang fielding the untested juniors this time.
Zhuliang, however, believes it is time to start exposing them if they are to emerge as contenders for places in the Rio de Janeiro Olympics in 2016.
“Juniors like Nur Dhabitah Sabri, Loh Zhiayi, Mohd Nazreen and Mohd Danial must aim to become champions at the SEA Games. This is the target set for them if they want to show they can fight with the seniors for places at the Rio Olympics.
“After the SEA Games, these juniors must then aim higher and start hoping to get into the squad for the Asian Games in South Korea next year.
“They have to start showing they can perform at the SEA Games before moving on to Asian Games and then the World Championships and World Cup, which is the main platform to qualify for the Olympics,” said Zhuliang, who guided Pandelela Rinong to deliver a historic bronze medal for Malaysia at the London Olympics last year.
To get the juniors ready for Myanmar, they will be sent for a six-week training stint in China later this month. The entire national squad will be training in Dali and Guangzhou just before Chinese New Year to get them to learn new routines.
“It is important our juniors start to step up and do more challenging routines. The current batch of juniors still cannot perform build-up dives on 5m and optional dives on 10m. So, there is no way they can compete at senior level. Seniors like Bryan Nickson Lomas can perform 3½ somersault from 5m. He can do four somersault from 10m height.
“Our juniors can only do 1½ somersault. My hope is that they can do 2½ somersault after we return from China.”