Medal hopes nosedive

  • Diving
  • Saturday, 04 Aug 2018

KUALA LUMPUR: World diving champion Cheong Jun Hoong is the second hot medal prospect to miss the Asian Games in Indonesia due to a chronic left knee injury.

Last week, badminton ace Lee Chong Wei pulled out of the Games, scheduled from Aug 18-Sept 2, due to a respiratory related disorder.

Amateur Swimming Union of Malaysia (ASUM) secretary general Mae Chen said it was unfortunate for Jun Hoong to withdraw.

“She has been advised by the doctor to go for further medical treatment,” said Mae after a press conference in Bukit Jalil yesterday.

Jun Hoong was slated to compete in the women’s 10m platform and 10m synchronised events.

Mae said Nur Dhabitah Sabri will replace Jun Hoong in the 10m platform while Leong Mun Yee will partner Pandelela Rinong in the synchronised event.

National Sports Institute (NSI) medical director Dr Arshad Puji said Jun Hoong’s condition was quite chronic.

“She suffered the injury near the same area where she had underwent knee surgery 10 years ago,” said Arshad.

“We advised her against competing and told her to get treatment. She is expected to be out of action for six to nine months.”

The 28-year-old Jun Hoong, who won the Commonwealth Games gold with Pandelela in the 10m platform synchronised event, felt bad she had to skip the Games.

“I felt pain in my knee during training two weeks ago and my knee was also swollen,” said Jun Hoong.

“Fluids were taken out of my knee to assess the extent of the injury. It was chronic, I took the doctor’s advice for my own good,” said Jun Hoong, who became the first Malaysian diver to win gold at the World Championships (10m platform) in Budapest last year.

Asian Games chef-de-mission Datuk Seri Azim Mohamed Zabidi hoped ASUM would come up with a back-up plan while Podium Programme director Tim Newenham hoped other divers would step up in the absence Jun Hoong.

“A decision has been made on Jun Hoong for her own long-term benefit. The other youngsters should use this opportunity to shine,” said Newenham.

Jun Hoong won a bronze in the 1m springboard at the 2010 Guangzhou Asiad and bagged a silver in the 3m springboard synchronised with Wendy Ng Yan Yee and a bronze in the 3m springboard at the 2014 Incheon Asian Games.

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