Tze Liang Hopeful for Young Divers to Continue Malaysia's Legacy at SEA Games
By: Michelle Liew
National diver Ooi Tze Liang urged his teammates, especially young divers, to improve their performance thus continuing his legacy at the SEA Games, especially in the 3-meter (m) springboard event.
The 3m springboard gold medallist at the Glasgow Commonwealth Games reminded his teammates to work harder to maintain Malaysia's dominance in the pool at the biennial Games.
"I think they need to work hard, again if they want to take my place. They have to win first," he told reporters after winning the men's 3m springboard gold medal at the 54th Malaysian Age Group Invitational Championship (MIAG) here on Sunday.
The two-time Asian Games silver medallist said he always gave more than 100 percent effort every time he participated in the tournament before.
It is because he is indebted and feels the need to repay the trust of the National Sports Council (MSN) who have given him contracts and allowances all this time.
After not participating in the 2023 SEA Games, the 26-year-old athlete hopes that national representatives Muhammad Syafiq Puteh and Gabriel Gilbert Daim will do their best to defend the gold and silver medals they won in the men's 3m springboard event at the biennial games next month.
Meanwhile, the Penang-born athlete will focus fully on the 2023 Diving World Cup in Montreal, Canada on May 5 to 7.
Last January, assistant coach Datuk Leong Mun Yee announced that the elite diving squad would not be participating in the SEA Games in Cambodia, to make way for young divers to gain exposure at the international level.
Earlier, Tze Liang achieved success after collecting 452.35 points to become the champion, followed by another national jumper Chew Yi Wei who won silver with 407.10 points while Muhammad Syafiq was third with 402.70 points.
Despite not being able to overcome Tze Liang, Yi Wei managed to bring home the gold medal in the men's 3m synchronized springboard event, teaming up with Gabriel after collecting 341.49 points.
The Singapore pair Ayden Ng-Kenji Tan won the silver medal with 258.45 points while Sarawak's representative Awang Sharzan Nasrin-Soh Tze Kang collected 251.22 points for the bronze.