JAKARTA: Pint-sized wushu exponent Diana Bong Siong Lin says she fears no one but herself.
She better be because she will face the sternest test of character when she competes in front of the boisterous Indonesian fans at the Tennis Indoor Stadium today.
However, the 26-year-old Kuching-born exponent, who stands at only 1.49m (four feet, 11 inches), says she is fully aware of the heat Indonesian fans have been giving the Malaysian athletes.
“I’m not used to performing in a noisy environment but I’m not too concerned about it,” said Diana.
“I’m only worried about myself because I have a tendency to make silly mistakes in competition.
“I lost out on the gold medal at the World Championships in Ankara last month because of a clumsy mistake during my routine in the nanquan (freehand)”
Diana ended up with the silver instead. She only won the bronze in the nangun (stick) at the world meet because she “again made silly mistakes”.
Fumbles during her routine in the Guangzhou Asian Games last year saw her finish a disappointing fourth in the nanquan.
“I have been training hard to polish up my steps and movements.
“I hope I can perform perfectly to win my third consecutive SEA Games gold medal since Korat 2007,” said Diana, who will be competing in two events – nanquan and a combination of the nangun and nandoa (sword).
“The MWF (Malaysian Wushu Federation) are banking on me to deliver one of the two gold medals they have targeted for these Games.”
Diana expressed concern over the allegations of biased judging in the subjective martial arts sports.
“I heard that the national karate exponents were unhappy with the judging as they lost two sure gold medals to hosts Indonesia.
“It will be very frustrating if I perform well and don’t win the gold,” said Diana, who has been in the national squad since 2004.
The MWF left out three-time world champion Chai Fong Ying from the squad as they wanted to expose the juniors.
Diana, who is majoring in Human Communication at the Universiti Putra Malaysia (UPM), said world champion Fong Ying’s absence has put added pressure on her to deliver gold.
“I hope I can live up to expectations, especially in my pet nanquan event,” said the ever-cheerful Diana after a training session yesterday.