Pandelela Ridong, a Rising Malaysian Star Athlete in Swimming and Diving
As reported in a recent issue in The Sport Digest (Temple, 2014) popular men’s sports in Southeast Asia include international football (American soccer), badminton, sepak takraw, and table tennis. Popular women’s sports include badminton, netball, and volleyball. The Amateur Swimming Union of Malaysia (ASUM) hailed the inclusion of swimming as one of the six core sports to be improved under recent national budget announcements. In the past, Malaysian swimmers have traveled to study and train in the United States. Malaysian swimmers with previous international success include Lim Keng Liat, Elvin Chia, Anthony Ang, Allen Ong and Siow Yi Ting. Recent international success by Pandelela Rinong, a female Malaysian athlete, is promoting interest in swimming and diving (Singh, 2014).
Malaysia has produced an incredible young diving talent in Pandelela Rinong. Born on March 2, 1993, Rinong is originally from the eastern state of Sarawak. In 2007, she was selected to the national diving team. During the 2010 Summer Youth Olympics in Singapore, Rinong won silver medals in the 10 meter platform and the 3 meter springboard. In 2010 during the Commonwealth Games in New Delhi, Rinong won a silver medal in the 10 meter synchronized platform event, becoming the first diver from Malaysia to win a gold medal in these same games at the 10 meter platform event (Ng, 2012). She qualified for the London Olympics by finishing in 4th place in the 10 meter platform diving at the World Championships in Shanghai, China. She was awarded Sportswoman of the Year for Malaysia in April 2012, and trains at the Bukit Jalil Sports Complex in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia (http://www. theborneopost.com).
(Photo from www. london2012.com)
Pandelela Rinong (far right in photo) became Malaysia’s first ever woman’s medalist, and first ever Olympic winner outside of badminton, when she won the bronze medal in the Women’s 10m platform event in the 2012 London Summer Olympics. Pandelela, then 19, was in tears as she savored a landmark medal for Malaysia. “I feel very proud and happy because I just won a medal for Malaysia. It’s really an honour. It’s a great, great thing for Malaysia,” Pandelela said. “I feel very proud of Malaysia. I hope Malaysia is proud of me. “Diving is not that popular (in Malaysia) like badminton. I hope I will be inspiring the youth (to take up diving).” (Supaat, 2012).
Ng, P. (2012, Aug 13). Politics could learn a lesson or two from sports. The Business Times. Retrieved from http://search.proquest.com/docview/1033232916?accountid=29017
Singh, A. (2014, Oct 27). All eyes on Pandelela. The New Straits Times. Retrieved from http://www.nst.com.my/node/45662
Supaat, Z., & Bernama, R. (2012, Aug 10). Pandelela, Malaysia’s first woman to win Olympic medal. The Borneo Post. Retrieved from http://www.theborneopost.com/2012/08/10/blazing-the-trail/
Temple, C., Fredrick, M., Edwards, W., & Cromartie, F. (2014, Sep 2014). Modern Thai sports participation. The Sport Digest. Retrieved from http://thesportdigest.com/2014/09/modern-thai-sports-participation/
Dr. William Edwards, Chair of Sports Exercise Science at USSA, completed a teaching assignment in Kuala Lumpur and Selangor, Malaysia, and visited Thailand, China, Hong Kong, Macau, and Singapore.
Dr. Michael Fredrick, Chair of Sports Studies at USSA, holds a doctorate in sport psychology and a 1st degree black belt in Chinese Kenpo. Dr. Fredrick completed teaching assignment(s) in China and Malaysia while visiting Thailand and Singapore. While on teaching assignment, Dr. Fredrick swam with students at the Youth & Sports Complex Kuching, Sarawak – Aquatics Facilities, where Rinong trained previously.
Mr. Robert Hudson, JD, Assistant Professor and Director of Library at USSA, attended the International Association of Law Librarians Conference 2011 in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.
Dr. Fred Cromartie, Director of Doctoral Studies at USSA, completed teaching assignments in Thailand, and Kuala Lumpur, Selangor, Johor, and Kulim, Malaysia, respectively.
Mr. Charles Temple is the current project director for USSA and Vice President for International Development in Malaysia. Mr. Temple has worked as a high school and college teacher, coach, athletic director and taught sport management in Bangkok, Thailand for the past two years.