Ooi Tze Liang performs in the individual diving event yesterday. Photo: Bernama

NEW CLARK CITY (Philippines): National elite diver, Ooi Tze Liang is set to be a new household name in Malaysian sporting history after claiming his eleventh gold medal in the diving competition at the 30th SEA Games which concludes in the Philippines, yesterday.

The 26-year-old Penangite who claimed his maiden gold with Chew Yiwei in the synchronised event, yesterday, was in his elements after amassing 454.60 points in the individual event, which consequently saw him retaining the gold medal which he won at the 2017 Kuala Lumpur SEA Games.

To add icing on the cake, his teammate, Mohd Syafiq Puteh bagged the silver with 402.50 points, while Mark Lee Han Ming of Singapore, settled for bronze with 325.50 points in the diving competition which took place at the New Clark City Aquatics Centre, here.

Previously, Tze Liang had won nine gold medals – three in the 2013 edition in Myanmar, four in 2015 (Singapore), besides two golds at the 2017 Kuala Lumpur SEA Games.

The Asian Games double silver medallist had also won one silver in the men’s 10-metre individual platform while making his debut at the 2013 edition in Myanmar.

Ooi Tze Liang performs in the individual diving event yesterday. Photo: Bernama

“Overall, my performance for this year’s SEA Games is just moderate as I did not make a proper preparation since I received a last-minute call from the coach for the SEA Games.

“Since missing the 2019 Asian Cup last Sept (due to injury), I have set my target to improve my dives prior to the 2020 Fina Diving World Cup tournament in April 2020, which was the last qualifying tournament for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics Games,” Tze Liang told reporters when met after the event.

Sharing the same view was Muhd Syafiq who was satisfied with the silver medal in the event, despite having won a gold medal with national woman diver, Jasmine Lai Pui Yee in the mixed 3-metre Springboard synchronised event at the 2017 Kuala Lumpur SEA Games.

‘’I only performed in one event only because the host did not have the mixed event, but thank god, I am satisfied, especially with the 402.50 points recorded which is a significant improvement after the 2019 FINA Grand Prix Diving Championship in Australia, early this month,’’ said the 24-year-old diver. – Bernama