PETALING JAYA: China’s Zhang Yukun (pic) is the latest diving coach to part ways with the national elite diving squad.
He has decided to return to his native country end of this month to take up a new coaching offer.
Yukun, who has been coaching in Malaysia for the last seven years, is another loss to the national aquatics team following the departure of head coach Yang Zhuliang almost a year ago.
Yukun’s contract under the Podium Programme was up for renewal this month but the long delay has resulted in him taking up the offer in his home province.
Yukun, who was assisting Zhuliang before the latter departed, was in charge of women divers Cheong Jun Hoong, Leong Mun Yee, Pandelela Rinong, Wendy Ng Yan Yee and Nur Dhabitah Sabri.
Amateur Swimming Union of Malaysia secretary Mae Chen confirmed Yukun’s decision to leave.
“He was given a very attractive offer that we could not match. He would be taken care of even after he retires,” said Mae.
Yukun’s departure is a worrying sign for Malaysian diving team with the Olympic qualifying campaign looming next year.
The Olympic qualifying campaign for Tokyo will start with the World Championships in South Korea next July and Mae said they were already in the process of looking for Yukun’s replacement.
“We have identified another coach from China and in the process of negotiation,” she said.
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