Two hurdles for Jun Hoong before the Games

  • Diving
  • Tuesday, 21 Jan 2020

KUALA LUMPUR: Former world champion diver Cheong Jun Hoong has two tests to pass if she hopes to qualify for the Olympics. First, she will have to come through a contest with teammates at Bukit Jalil.

She has to win that contest, and then do well in the Diving World Cup in Tokyo in April.

The Tokyo meet is the last avenue for qualification to the Olympics. If Jun Hoong fails to pull through in the Bukit Jalil trial, she will not be in the World Cup and her hopes will be dead in the water.

National Sports Council (NSC) director-general Datuk Ahmad Shapawi Ismail said the Amateur Swimming Union of Malaysia (Asum) have recommended that Jun Hoong take part in a trial to decide if she is fit for the challenge.

The 29-year-old was out of action for more than a year after her knee surgery in 2018 and trained on her own before she made a request in December to be reunited with her coach Yang Zhuliang.

The NSC put up a special funding plan for her to be reunited with the former national coach with the aim of preparing her to qualify and hopefully, fight for a podium spot at the Tokyo Olympics.

A nation can enter two divers for the women’s 10m platform individual in the Olympics and there is one remaining slot to fight for. Pandelela Rinong has already earned a quota spot by virtue of finishing fifth in the event at the World Aquatics Championships in Gwangju, South Korea in July last year.

“The trial is likely to be held in Bukit Jalil and will take place under neutral judges. We have three divers who can compete in the women’s 10m platform individual.

“Pandelela has already qualified while Jun Hoong wants to take a shot at qualifying. Nur Dhabitah Sabri has qualified for the women’s 3m springboard individual but is also keen to try for a second Olympic spot.

“I think it’s only fair for everyone to get the chance,” said Shapawi.

Jun Hoong chalked a high in her second Olympic appearance in Rio de Janeiro four years ago when she partnered Pandelela to win silver in the women’s 10m platform synchro event.

Four divers have qualified for Tokyo 2020 – Wendy Ng and Dhabitah in the women’s 3m springboard individual, Pandelela in the 10m platform and Pandelela-Leong Mun Yee in the 10m synchro.

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Cheong Jun Hoong , Diving World Cup , Tokyo


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