KUCHING: The statement by Malaysian Swimming Federation secretary-general Andy Low towards Datuk Pandelela Rinong has come under fire from a Sarawak minister.

Sarawak’s Minister of Youth, Sports and Entrepreneurs Development, Datuk Seri Abdul Karim Rahman Hamzah said Pandelela had made tremendous contributions in diving at international competitions.

“For Pandelela to reach that level is not easy, need strong physical and mental strength and daily training. To say Pandelela only wants to earn a salary, I feel she can make more based on her experience and become a coach. No need for officials to belittle athletes,” he told reporters here today.

Reports said Pandelela had claimed that an issue that troubled the national diving team at the recent World Aquatics Championships in Doha resulted in the poor performance of the diving squad.

In his reply, Andy Low was reported to have said the National diver was only giving an excuse to cover up the failure in Doha because the Federation had never been notified about the problem before or during the championships. - Bernama