KUALA LUMPUR: Former world champion Cheong Jun Hoong is expected to spearhead a strong squad of Malaysian divers to the FINA Diving World Cup to be held at the Tokyo Aquatics Centre in Japan from April 18-23.
Malaysia Swimming secretary Mae Chen said the World Cup would serve as the final qualifying tournament for the Tokyo Olympics, which will be held in July.
She said the final selection of divers to the World Cup would be decided by national head coach Christian Brooker.
“The national diving squad have been undergoing training for the past few weeks under the quarantine-based approach at the National Aquatics Centre in Bukit Jalil, ” she said.
“Everyone who trains there has undergone the Covid-19 swab test. All of them have tested negative.”
Jun Hoong made her first competitive appearance since May 2018 when she took part in the first Malaysia International Online Diving Competition at the National Aquatics Centre in Bukit Jalil last month.
She made history when she became the first Malaysian woman diver to win the world title in the 10m individual platform event at the World Aquatics Championships in Budapest, Hungary, in 2017, a year after winning the Rio Olympics silver medal with Pandelela Rinong in the women’s synchronised 10m platform.
Jun Hoong’s last competitive outing was in the final round of the Diving World Series in Kazan, Russia, in May 2018, where she won a bronze medal in the 10m synchronised platform event with Pandelela.
The Perak-born Jun Hoong then skipped the Indonesian Asian Games in August 2018 for knee surgery and rehabilitation.
Meanwhile, Mae Chen revealed that they do not plan to send the national divers to China to continue their training stint prior to the Olympics following the surge in Covid-19 cases over the past few months. — Bernama.