Freida Lim ends Singapore's 36-year-wait for a 10m platform medal
Diver Freida wins first silver in women's 10m platform event in 36 years
In her five years of diving, Freida Lim has always had this nagging thought at the back of her mind during competitions.
"I had a tendency to think that other people were better than me," the 19-year-old told The New Paper yesterday.
Her mindset changed after she enrolled as a student-athlete at the Clemson University in the United States last August.
Her stint there helped the national diver improve her confidence.
"My coaches there helped me improve my mindset, and I gained quite a bit of competition experience because during the season, there would be competitions every week or every other week," said Lim, who transferred to the University of Georgia for the upcoming academic year, after Clemson closed down its diving programme.
Lim reaped the rewards of her training in the US at the SEA Games in Kuala Lumpur yesterday when she clinched a silver medal in the women's 10m platform with 274.65 points.
It was the first time in 36 years that a Singaporean diver won an individual silver in the event at the biennial Games - Annisa Tai finished second at the 1981 Games.
Malaysia's two-time Olympic medallist Pandelela Rinong Anak Pamg (341.65 points) took the gold, while her teammate Kimberly Bong (255.05 points) was third.
Lim's teammate Myra Lim was fourth with 241 points.
"I am still in disbelief, I am super happy, ecstatic and I am still processing it," said Lim, who broke down in tears after finding out the final result.
"I didn't know about (the 36-year statistic) until someone told me about it.
It was quite shocking, but I am also extremely proud at the same time to be able to do it for Singapore."
"The Malaysians are so strong in this sport... I knew that if I did well in my dives, I could win a silver, but I didn't dive as well as I hope I could have," added Lim, who clinched a bronze in the same event at the 2015 Games on home ground.
Lim wasn't the only Singaporean diver to medal yesterday.
Her teammate Mark Lee scored a bronze in the men's 1m springboard final with 350.55 points, while his twin brother Timothy was fourth with 327 points.
In the mixed synchronised 3m springboard final, Singapore's Joshua Chong and Ashlee Tan took silver with 243.84 points.
Lim will compete in the the mixed synchronised 10m platform with Jonathan Chan today, and in the women's synchronised 10m platform final with Myra Lee tomorrow.
Lee, 23, and Lim clinched a silver in the synchronised platform event at the 2015 Games.
Lim felt that she could still improve on her dives.
She said: "My backs and reverses were much better during practice this morning than they were during the final, so I suppose those are areas of improvement for me."
Asked if yesterday's silver would boost her confidence ahead of her other two events, Lim said: "Hopefully, I don't get as nervous in synchronised diving events because I can talk to my teammates, and we can calm each other down."