Jun Hoong relieved dream of a third Olympics still alive

PETALING JAYA: Former world diving champion Cheong Jun Hoong is relieved that her bid for a third straight Olympic Games is on again.Itching for action: The World Cup will be Jun Hoong’s first competition in nearly three years.Itching for action: The World Cup will be Jun Hoong’s first competition in nearly three years.

FINA, the world governing body for aquatics, announced on Friday that the Diving World Cup has been rescheduled for May 1-6 in Tokyo.

FINA sent a letter to the national federations last week informing that the meet, originally scheduled for April 18-23, had been cancelled due to difficulty in securing visa entries from embassies and an inadequate health protection plan but they have finally made a U-turn.

For the Ipoh-born diver, it was the best news to start the weekend.

The World Cup will be her first competition in nearly three years since she decided to undergo an operation on her knees.

“When the news came out earlier (on April 1) that the meet was called off, I thought it was an April Fool’s joke, ” said Jun Hoong, who has been training under former national coach Yang Zhuliang for the past one year.

“Now that it has been reinstated, I hope there will not be any more changes. It’s good that I have some time now to polish up my diving skills and improve on the areas I am lacking.”

Jun Hoong took part in the selection trial organised by Malaysia Swimming on Friday.

The 30-year-old chalked up 279.15 points in the 10m platform individual behind Pandelela Rinong, who finished with 352.90.

“I did much better in this simulation competition compared to my first one in December (where she scored 237.05). I had not dived from the 10m height for so long, so I was a bit rusty.

“I believe I can get better with more centralised training sessions, ” added Jun Hoong, who needs to make the top 18 to accomplish her Olympics mission.

Four slots each will be decided in the 3m springboard and 10m platform synchro events with 18 spots in the 3m springboard and 10m platform individual.

Jun Hoong partnered Pandelela to take silver in the 10m platform synchro event at the 2016 Rio de Janeiro Olympics but will only be focusing on the individual event this time.

Pandelela has booked her ticket for the Tokyo Olympics together with Leong Mun Yee, Nur Dhabitah Sabri and Wendy Ng Yan Yee.

In diving, China is the only nation so far who have completed the maximum quota of qualifiers for Tokyo.

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