PETALING JAYA: Diver Leong Mun Yee is praying to stay injury-free in order to have the best chance at making a record-breaking fifth Olympic appearance in Tokyo next year.
Mun Yee will be 35 by the time the action begins in Tokyo if she is included in the squad.
She is currently tied with shuttler Lee Chong Wei and sailor Kevin Lim, who both have since retired, at four outings.
The Ipoh-born diver showed that she is still relevant when she partnered Pandelela to claim their career-best silver medal in the 10m platform synchro at the World Aquatics Championships in Gwangju, South Korea recently.
Their feat also won Malaysia an early ticket to the Olympics.
Mun Yee also enjoyed a successful outing with Pandelela at the world meet in Rome in 2009 when they claimed the nation’s first medal – bronze in the event. They repeated the feat in Barcelona, Spain in 2013.
However, in the last three years, Mun Yee has dropped down the pecking order over world champion Cheong Jun Hoong and Nur Dhabitah Sabri.
The biggest setback was when she did not make the cut for the Rio Olympics three years ago.
The then head coach Yang Zhuliang deemed that Pandelela and Jun Hoong were the better bet for a medal. And the pair went on to win the country’s first silver in the sport.
For the synchro event, athletes only secure berths for their country and not themselves.
“Now that we have qualified early for the first time, the next objective will be to get a medal,” said Mun Yee.
“It’s important for me to take care of myself and stay free from any injury.
“I’m happy to help win the ticket as this was the mission for the team at the world meet.
“I hope I can go to the Olympics again,” added Mun Yee, who has competed in Sydney (2000), Athens (2004), Beijing (2008) and London (2012).
Meanwhile, Tia’a Faang Der finished 42nd in the men’s 200m butterfly heats with a time of 2:03.51 in Gwangju yesterday.
It was way off the 2:00.77 he clocked at the Singapore national swimming championships last month.
Welson Sim will return to the pool to compete in the men’s 100m freestyle heats today.
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