10th August, 2012
PANDELELA RINONG ANAK PAMG … collects 352.50 points to make the cut.
LONDON: Malaysian diver Pandelela Rinong anak Pamg advanced to the final after securing the fifth spot in the semi-finals of the Women’s 10m Platform of the 2012 Olympics here.
In the event held at the Aquatics Centre, the 19-year-old from Sarawak collected 352.50 points to make the cut to the final, which was to be held at 2am (Malaysian time) Friday.
After securing the second spot in Thursday’s preliminary round, Pandelela, competing in her second Olympics, fell short of points in two dives, in the first (forward 3-1/2 somersault) and fourth dive (inward 3-1/2 somersault).
She collected 67.50 and 67.20 points in the two events.
Meanwhile, China’s Chen Ruolin looked strongly placed to defend her Olympic platform title after a series of peerless dives in the women’s semi-finals on Thursday.
Chen, 19, appeared on track for her fourth overall gold medal at the Olympics in Friday’s final, after she topped the morning semi-final with 407.25 points from her five dives.
The Chinese star finished 47.35 points ahead of her nearest rival Meaghan Benfeito of Canada (359.90).
Chen’s top-scoring dive was in the final round with 84.80 for a back two and half somersault with one and a half twists and a 3.2 degree of difficulty.
She also scored 84.15 for a back three and half somersault with tuck and 83.20 for an inward three and a half somersault.
Chen, who won the individual and synchronised events as a 15-year-old at Beijing four years ago, has been unchallenged so far in the prelims and semi-final of the platform event.
She is bidding for China’s sixth gold diving medal in London after Chinese pair Qin Kai and defending champion He Chong were conquered by Russian Ilya Zakharov in Tuesday’s 3m springboard ending their nation’s hopes of sweeping all eight golds.
Chen already has one gold medal from the London Games in the synchronised 10m platform with Wang Hao.
The sixth-ranked Benfeito and Australian pair, Brittany Broben (359.55) and Beijing finalist Melissa Wu (355.60) appear in the hunt for the medals in the final.
China’s second-ranked Hu Yadan, 16, runner-up to Chen at last year’s world championships, again struggled and finished with 328.25 in ninth place.
Americans Brittany Viola (300.50) and Katie Bell (296.80) missed out on the top-12 final along with Germany’s Maria Kurjo (264.45).
Only 12 top divers compete in the final.