NATIONAL diver Bertrand Rhodict credited his idol Bryan Nickson Lomas for giving him plenty of encouragement after capturing his first gold at the Malaysia Games (Sukma) in the 10m platform event at the National Aquatic Center in Bukit Jalil.
If not for Bryan’s motivation, the Sarawakian would have quit the sport.
Yesterday, Bertrand saved his best for last when he put in a commanding display to finish top with 395.05 points.
Fellow Sarawakian Elvis Priestly took silver after scoring 372.10 points while Sabah’s Mohd Anilrian Normatrud Abdullah came away with the bronze with 321.90 points.
For Bertrand, the gold tasted especially sweet as he had finished second in both the 1m and 3m springboard events a day earlier.
“This gold is really meaningful for me as it is my first in my third attempt at this Sukma. I feel so thankful to my idol Bryan Nickson as I would not have won this gold if not for him,” said Bryan.
“He had motivated me so much when I had been thinking of quitting the sport three times (in 2013, 2014 and 2015).
“I was studying in Chung Hwa in Kuching at that time and it was really tiring to wake up early and go for training and then school.
“I hated it that time but I met Bryan at the 2016 Sukma in Sarawak and he encouraged me to continue diving. He told me not to give up.
“His advice spurred me to work harder and I got used to the demanding schedule,” said Bertrand.
The youngster was only a reserve in the team in 2016 and Bryan was one of the judges in the competition.
Bertrand went on to win one silver (10m platform) and two bronzes (1m and 3m springboard events) in the 2018 edition in Perak.
At the Hanoi SEA Games in May, he captured a bronze in the 1m event.
Bertrand will now switch his focus to the FINA Diving World Cup in Germany (Oct 20-23) and World Junior Championships in Canada (Nov 27-Dec 4).
Men’s 10m platform: 1. Bertrand Rhodict (Swk) 395.05 points, 2. Elvis Priestly (Swk) 372.10, 3. Mohd Anilrian (Sab) 321.90.