SEA Games: Birthday boy Jonathan Chan and Max Lee win diving silver

Jonathan Chan (left) and Max Lee in the men's 10m synchronised platform final on May 10, 2022. ST PHOTO: JASON QUAH

HANOI - It was his last hurrah on the day he turned 25 and Jonathan Chan gave himself the best farewell and birthday gift at the Hanoi SEA Games on Tuesday (May 10), winning a silver in the men’s 10m synchronised platform with Max Lee. 

Competing at the My Dinh Water Sports Palace, the Singaporean duo scored 322.5 after six dives to finish second behind Malaysia’s Jellson Jabillin and Hanis Nazirul Jaya Surya, who won the gold in 345.93. Vietnam’s Nguyen Quang Dat and Hoang Tu Dang took the bronze with 251.46 points. 

Chan said yesterday: “For this one, I felt no pressure. It wasn’t about it being the last one that I had to perform, it was more like the last one so I should enjoy it while I can.” 

In April, he announced at the Singapore National Diving Championships that he would retire after the SEA Games following a career that saw him winning two silvers and three bronzes at the 2015 and 2017 editions.

On Tuesday, Chan was the centre of attention at the pool for one last time, as he posed for photos with his diving teammates and family. He also received applause from the 200-strong crowd after the medal ceremony with the announcement that it was his birthday. 

He is already looking ahead to his next challenge, as he plans to look for a job while keeping tabs on the next generation of divers. He said: “I see the potential that they have for the future SEA Games. It’s quite exciting to see how diving can grow in the next few years.”

He will be keeping a close eye on Max – who at 14 is the youngest athlete in the Singapore contingent in Hanoi – noting that “it’s really about how far he wants to push himself and how far he is willing to go in the sport”.

Games debutant Max is already aiming to go one better at the next edition. The teenager said: “I am very happy and grateful to have this experience at such a young age, but I feel that I could have done a lot better in some of the dives. I can’t wait for next year’s SEA Games.” 

Chan and Max’s silver was the third medal for Singapore’s diving contingent at the Hanoi Games, which kick off officially tomorrow and end on May 23.

Jonathan Chan (left) and Max Lee won a silver medal in the men's 10m synchronised platform final. ST PHOTO: JASON QUAH

On Monday, teenager Avvir Tham won Singapore's first medal at the event - a silver in the 1m individual springboard.

Earlier on Tuesday, teammate Fong Kay Yian clinched a bronze medal in the women's individual 3m springboard final after scoring 230.15 from five dives.

Malaysia’s Ng Yan Yee (270.6) and Ong Ker Ying (242.4) took the gold and silver respectively. Singaporean Mira Dewan, 20, was seventh with 161.95 points in her debut Games.

For Fong, winning a medal in her third event in Hanoi was a relief after a “roller-coaster” competition.

On Sunday, she was fifth in the women’s 1m springboard and she finished third with Ashlee Tan in the women’s 3m synchronised springboard the next day. But the pair, who won silver in 2019, were not awarded the bronze as there were only three pairs competing.

Said Fong: “Initially, (after the first two events) I was upset. But I got good support from my teammates who told me to look ahead.

“The first two days did not go as planned but today I truly enjoyed myself.”

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