SINGAPORE - The Singapore Swimming Association (SSA) announced on Monday (April 16) that it has appointed Chinese Li Peng as the new national diving head coach.
The 52-year-old takes over from Australian Shannon Roy, who has officially stepped down after two years following the just-concluded Commonwealth Games on the Gold Coast.
Said Li: "I would like to thank SSA for the opportunity to be the national head coach for diving. Singapore diving has made immense strides in the last few years and is currently the second-best country in South-east Asia. I hope that I will be able to inspire the divers to further improve themselves, to make their mark on the world stage and aim for Olympic qualification."
Li comes into the job with some impressive credentials. A former world-class diver, he was China's national champion in 1985 in the men's platform.
From 2001 to 2005, he was part of the coaching team for the Chinese women's national team, helping groom the likes of Li Na, the 2000 Olympic gold medallist in the women's synchronised platform and Xu Mian, the 2001 world champion in the women's platform.
He then moved to Britain in 2007 to join the country's national set-up and serve as a mentor for its fledgling starlets, including reigning 10m platform world champion Tom Daley, who at the age of 13 became the youngest European diving champion less than a year later in 2008.
"We are delighted to be able to have someone of Li Peng's calibre on board. The success of the world-class divers he has trained speaks volumes of his capability as a coach," said SSA vice-president (diving) William Lee.
"As Singapore diving continues to strive to be among the top diving nations, we believe that Li Peng has the necessary skills and experience to take us there."
Li's first task will be to lead the team to the upcoming Fina Diving World Cup in Wuhan, China, in June followed by the Asian Games in Indonesia this August.