Jun Hoong qualifies for Tokyo Olympics with stunning display at Diving World Cup

PETALING JAYA: Diver Cheong Jun Hoong has become the 13th Malaysian athlete to qualify for the Tokyo Olympics.

Jun Hoong made the Olympic cut in style with a stunning performance to finish on top after the preliminary round of the women's individual 10m platform event at the Diving World Cup in Tokyo.

The former diving world champion amassed 345.30 points to finish on top after five dives at the Tokyo Aquatics Centre on Tuesday (May 4).

It will be the third straight Olympic appearance for Jun Hoong in Tokyo.

Jun Hoong was competing for the first time in three years since she underwent surgery on both knees and later decided to train under former head coach Yang Zhuliang again in an effort to make the cut for Tokyo.

Zhuliang guided Jun Hoong to become the nation's first ever world champion in the 2017 world championships in Budapest, Hungary.

Russian Iuliia Timoshinina finished second with 336.70 points ahead of Mexican Gabriela Garcia, who chalked 325.65.

Malaysia's Pandelela Rinong posted a five-dive total of 325.00 to qualify for the semi-finals.

The top 18 divers go through to the semis tomorrow and are also assured of Olympic spots in what is the last qualifying meet for diving.

Jun Hoong is the fifth Malaysian diver to qualify for the Tokyo Games.

Pandelela, Leong Mun Yee, Nur Dhabitah Sabri and Wendy Ng Yan Yee were among the 12 Malaysians who qualified before the Covid-19 pandemic last year.

The others are Farah Ann Abdul Hadi (gymnastics), Khairulnizam Afendy, Nur Shazrin Latif, Nuraisyah Jamil and Juni Karimah Noor Jamali (sailing), Khairul Anuar Mohd (archery), Azizulhasni Awang and Mohd Shah Firdaus Sahrom (cycling).

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