KUALA LUMPUR, April 24 — With fewer than 100 days until the 2024 Paris Olympic Games kick off, national diver Bertrand Rhodict Lises is intensifying his efforts to increase the degree of difficulty of his dives by training in different countries.

Bertrand, 19, who is currently based in Singapore (from April 15 to May 30), will continue his journey to Australia to participate in the Diving Championships in Brisbane before heading to another country in preparation for the world’s biggest sporting event.

As the only national diver at the quadrennial event, Bertrand admits feeling a bit “lonely” without the company of senior divers like Datuk Pandelela Rinong during this process, but he considers it an inevitable part of his career as a national athlete.

“I will be training in Singapore, Australia, and another country that I have not been informed of by the Malaysian Swimming Federation (MAS). I won’t be returning to Malaysia, so from that last country, I’ll go straight to Paris.

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“The nervousness about going to Paris is there, but I am looking forward to it. This Olympics is definitely about gaining experience, but if luck is on my side, I might get on the podium,” he said when contacted by Bernama today.

Bernama previously reported that Bertrand had to sacrifice his participation in two 2024 Diving World Cup series events to focus on shifting from a 3.0 to a 3.7 difficulty in the back 3½ dive with pike routine.

When asked about any changes in his diet, Bertrand, who is accompanied by coach Nor Aznizal Najib in Singapore, said he is more cautious about food content and is taking supplements to boost his fitness level.

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He believes all MAS plans are progressing smoothly, especially as his wrist injury has fully healed after receiving a recent platelet-rich plasma (PRP) injection.

Meanwhile, MAS technical director (Diving) Bryan Nickson Lomas said the decision to send Bertrand to various countries was the right one, with the diver from Sarawak agreeing to the plan.

Although China, a powerhouse in swimming events, is not among Bertrand’s “learning” destinations, Bryan is confident that the diversity of other countries will be beneficial for him, potentially boosting his chances in Paris.

“We had several options, and we chose the ones that were worthwhile and beneficial. Indeed, China has complete facilities, but other countries are not far behind in terms of quality,” he said.

Bertrand is the only national diver who qualified to compete in the Paris Olympics Games in the men’s 10-metre platform event after securing his spot at the World Championships in Fukuoka, Japan, last year.

Eight other athletes will join Bertrand, including three track cyclists, Datuk Mohd Azizulhasni Awang, Muhammad Shah Firdaus Sahrom and Nurul Izzah Izzati Mohd Asri; Nur Shazrin Mohd Latif (sailing), Johnathan Wong (shooting), Ariana Nur Dania Mohd Zairi (archery), Nur Aisyah Mohd Zubir (road cycling), and Mohamad Aniq Kasdan (weightlifting).

Six of them, including Bertrand Rhodict and Ariana Nur Dania, who are 19 years old, Nurul Izzah Izzati (21), Mohamad Aniq (22), along with Nur Shazrin and Nur Aisyah, 26, will be competing at the Olympics for the first time.

The Paris Olympics are scheduled to take place from July 26 to August 11. — Bernama