PETALING JAYA: Yang Zhuliang made a promise to produce an Olympic champion when he returned to Malaysia for a second coaching stint in 2009.
And the former national diving coach is keeping his part of the bargain as he is now reunited with Cheong Jun Hoong.
Zhuliang guided her to a stunning win in the 10m platform individual event at the World Aquatics Championships in Budapest, Hungary, in 2017.Jun Hoong is now in China training under Zhuliang to prepare for the Diving World Cup in April next year.
The event in Tokyo will be the final qualifying meet for the Tokyo Olympics.
Jun Hoong has not competed in competitions since May last year following knee surgery.
The 29-year-old partnered Pandelela Rinong to clinch gold at the Gold Coast Commonwealth Games in Australia but later pulled out of the Indonesian Asian Games in August last year to seek treatment for her injury.
The National Sports Council (NSC) are funding her special training programme.
“Jun Hoong is in China with Zhuliang. The first phase of training is until end of the year. Her progress will be evaluated after that to see whether she is improving, ” said NSC director general Datuk Ahmad Shapawi Ismail.
It is a good move by the NSC as Jun Hoong has the potential to win an Olympic gold medal if she regains her old form.
She needs to make the top 18 in the individual event at the World Cup to book her ticket.
Jun Hoong is still the only Malaysian diver to win a world title and she did it by upstaging two top Chinese divers in Hungary.
Reigning Olympic champion Ren Qian settled for third spot behind former world champion Si Yajie.
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