COMMITTED FOR RIO: Najib asking Pandelela whether she was nervous during the competition when she calls on him at his Bangunan Perdana Putra residence. Also seen is Ahmad Shabery. — Bernama photo
PUTRAJAYA: Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak honoured 2012 Olympics diving bronze medallist Pandelela Rinong Pamg at his office here yesterday.
As a token of the government’s appreciation, Najib presented the national champion with RM300,000, comprising RM100,000 under the National Sports Council (NSC) prize scheme and RM200,000 worth of shares in Amanah Saham Wawasan.
He also presented a full government scholarship from the Tun Abdul Razak Foundation to enable the athlete to pursue a degree of her choice at University Tun Abdul Razak.
Najib made an assurance that the government was prepared to provide any assistance the young athlete may need to enhance her performance for further international success.
“Are you committed for Rio (2016 Olympics in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil) and what else do you need? Do you have everything?” a smiling Najib asked Pandelela.
He then asked her about her experience during the 10-metre diving event.
“Were you nervous when you started?” asked Najib.
“Yes, but later I was excited,” answered Pandelela.
Also present at the function were Youth and Sports Minister Datuk Seri Ahmad Shabery Cheek; Malaysia Amateur Athletics Union president Datuk Seri Shahidan Kassim, Malaysian Contingent head Tun Ahmad Sarji Abdul Hamid and NSC director-general Datuk Seri Zolkples Embong.
Pandelela’s parents, Hartini Lamim and Pamg Joheng and coach Yang Zhuliang were present too.
The 19-year-old Bidayuh girl attained 359.20 points in the 10m platform event at the recent 2012 London Olympics, while Chen Ruolin of China defended her record with 422.30 points and Australian Broben bagged the silver with 366.50 points. — Bernama