National diving star Ooi Tze Liang (who also goes by Davis) recently bagged Malaysia’s two gold medals at the 2022 Hanoi SEA Games. Undoubtedly the nation’s best diver, here’s all you need to know about Penang’s own Ooi Tze Liang.
Of course, it’s already known that he’s been representing Malaysia in multiple international competitions, such as the Southeast Asian Games, the Commonwealth Games, the Asian Games and the Olympics back in 2016. At the 2022 SEA Games, he’s also secured this personal record: he’s now the first Malaysian diver to have won all five events across springboard and platform disciplines, and individual springboard to synchro. What a feat.
But off the diving platform (and springboards), who is Ooi Tze Liang?
5 things you need to know about Ooi Tze Liang, Malaysia’s diving star
1. He enjoys Legos
In a 2017 interview, Tze Liang revealed that in order to keep stress at bay, he plays with Legos and watches YouTube videos. You can find images of him showing off completely constructed sets amongst pictures of him practising his dives and showcasing his medal stash.
Here is one where he took a seven-hour dive into building the special Chinese New Year sets in celebration of the year of the ox.
2. He has collaborated with international luxury brands
True for an athlete of his calibre, prestigious brands are collaborating with Tze Liang for sponsorships and partnerships. From Adidas to Omega, this diver is well on his way to becoming a permanent household name.
3. He was 8 years old when he started diving
Like many of our national athletes, Tze Liang got his start quite early on in his life. This year, he turns 28 — which means that he’s been putting two decades’ worth of dedication into the sport.
In an interview, he divulged that he was actually scared, even at the lowest springboard. “My father asked if I wanted to ‘play’ this sport called diving. Of course, when I heard the word ‘play’ I got excited and said yes. At training, I suddenly realised my father’s ‘play’ meant jumping off springboards. I still remember how scary it was standing at the edge of the springboard for the very first time,” he said.
4. He has quite the medal stash
After his exceptional execution at the Hanoi SEA Games, his grand total for his medal count is now 20. Over multiple SEA Games at Napyiydaw, Singapore, Kuala Lumpur, Palembang, Philippines and Hanoi, he has accrued 13 golds and 3 silvers. He performed especially well at the 2015 Singapore SEA Games, which secured him the Olympic Council of Malaysia Award for outstanding performance.
At the 2014 Glasgow Commonwealth Games, Tze Liang brought home silver and gold — the first Malaysian diver to bring home the ultimate prize. He’s also made his appearance at the Asian Games, bagging one silver at the 2010 Guangzhou event, and a silver and a bronze at the 2014 Incheon competition.
5. He adores his family
He doesn’t only share images of him sharpening his skills and all those medals, he also dedicates some of his posts to his loved ones — his family. Photographed here is their 2020 Chinese New Year celebration.
(Featured and hero images: Ooi Tze Liang/Instagram)
This story first appeared on Prestige Malaysia