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I am seriously not surprised by this claim, and am inclined to believe that a environment of “rape and sexual harassment” has been allowed to happen in the Malaysian diving team. National coach and former China coach Yang Zhuliang is being accused of allowing and encouraging an environment where rape and sexual assault was “invited”. His contract as national coach will not be renewed amidst these claims.

The major sticking point which pointed to this “environment of rape and sexual harassment”, derived from the issues around China born coach of the Malaysian diving team Huang Qiang who is due to go on trial for allegedly raping a 20 year old diver. These claims have been exacerbated even more after it was revealed that he kicked Malaysia’s Olympic silver medallist Pandelela Rinong after a conflict arising from a volleyball match some Malaysian diverse and coaches were involved in.

SCMP continues this story:

Yang denied Youth and Sports Minister Khairy Jamaluddin’s claim that he allowed a “culture and environment [that] caused cases of rape, sexual harassment, violence, beatings, bullying and threats”.

Former China national coach Yang said, though, that he was aware of the incident involving Pandelela and Huang but did not know when it happened.

“They were actually playing volleyball. The rule was the loser would be kicked. However, I did not play. When Pandelela lost, Huang kicked her,” Yang was quoted as saying.

“Pandelela scolded Huang. He asked Pandelela ‘what it was all about’ and she scolded him again.

“Huang lost his temper and kicked Pandelela again. Pandelela took her slippers and brushed it on Huang’s face. They started fighting and both had to be pulled apart by the other divers.”

The 53-year-old coach told the daily that side activities and games involving athletes and coaches were banned after that incident.

Yang joined as Malaysia’s head diving coach in 2008 and guided Pandelela to the 2012 London Olympics women’s 10m platform bronze. At the 2016 Rio Games, Pandelela combined with Cheong Jun Hoong to win a silver medal in the women’s synchronised 10m platform competition.


This has sparked huge controversy in Malaysia, with Yang stating that he had no control over the personal lives of the divers and coaches. My 2 cents worth? This is an excuse to validate his leadership and behavior. For an environment of sexual assault and rape to exist clearly shows that there is a huge problem, and as a national coach he would know that these things are happening. I bet he turned a blind eye to it all, focusing on performances rather than deal with the culture of sexism, misogyny and sexual assault.

I will definitely keep an eye on this story, but feel free to let us know your thoughts…

Images via SCMP

To read the full article, please click on: Malaysian Olympic diving medallist ‘hit coach with slipper after he kicked her’

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