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Yeoh Ken Nee qualify for final – Diving – London Olympics 2012

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LONDON: Yeoh Ken Nee has become the first Malaysian to qualify for a final of an individual event in the diving competition at the Olympics.

And now he has challenged the two younger divers in the team, Bryan Nickson Lomas and Pandelela Rinong, to follow suit and draw inspiration from his performance to do well in the individual platform events.

“I believe as a senior I have set an example and I want them to do well. I hope my performance to enter the final for the first time by a diver will inspire them as well,” he said.

On Monday, he also made history as the first to make semi- finals when he was placed ninth in the field of 29 divers in the 3mspringboard. Only the top 18 made the semi-finals.

In the semis on Tuesday, he was placed in 12th spot. Only the top 12 qualify for the final.

The Star reported, Ken Nee scored a total of 441.61 points in the semis finals. In the preliminaries he scored 452.60.

Another Malaysian Huang Qiang failed to clear the preliminaries when he was placed in 19th position with a score of 433.85.

Ken Nee said after the semi-final that he was very happy with the dive and of having made the final.

“There was a lot of firsts in the competition. First, I made the semi-final for the fist time and now the final as well. I just don’t have words to describe my feelings. This is certainly a breakthrough for us in diving,” he said.

For the final, he said there would be no pressure on him and he plans to enjoy the dives.

“Look, there is simply no way to get through to the podium as those above me are totally in different level. It is a major achievement for me to have come this far.

“Of course, I will give it my very best. There is no question about it. But realistically, winning will be a daunting task,” he said.

Ken Nee said that his problem in the semis was the fifth round dive, which gave him the lowest points among the six rounds.

“Yes that is the weak point in my dive. I always have problems with it. Still, I hope to do better. The points I scored in the other round helped me greatly. Overall, I am very happy with the performance today and the preliminaries,” he said.

Malaysian coach Yang Zhuliang said that it was a tremendous performance from Ken Nee.

“I told him to concentrate on his dives and not to worry about his opponents. Of course there was some mistakes like the fifth dive in the semi-finals. But overall he did as planned.

“In am sure with a little more effort he can do better. This is an achievement for the team,” he said.

Pandelela will take part in the 10m platform on Wednesday in the preliminaries while Bryan will see action on Aug 10.