Don't give up, Sports Minister tells diver Jun Hoong

Jun Hong (left) dan Pandelela won the silver medal at the women's 10m platform synchro at the 2016 Rio de Janeiro Olympics. - Bernama

PETALING JAYA: Youth and Sports Minister Datuk Seri Reezal Merican Naina Merican hopes former world champion diver Cheong Jun Hoong will not give up and continue to train for the 2022 Asian Games in Hangzhou, China.

Jun Hoong missed out on the Tokyo Olympics taking place next month after governing body for aquatics FINA finalised the final list of 68 men and 68 women divers on Wednesday (June 23).

Jun Hoong was the silver medallist for Malaysia when she partnered Pandelela Rinong in the women's 10m platform synchro at the 2016 Rio de Janeiro Olympics.

Jun Hoong thought she had done enough to qualify after finishing 18th in the semi-finals at the Diving World Cup in Tokyo in May, her first competition in nearly three years following knee surgeries.

However, FINA decided to reduce the list of qualifiers from the top 18 to 12, forcing an anxious wait to get in until Wednesday's announcement.

"The decision by FINA to reverse the original qualification rules has affected Jun Hoong and also divers from other countries.

"I understand what she is going through to make a comeback from her injuries.

"I have asked National Sports Council director-general Datuk Ahmad Shapawi Ismail to discuss the next training programme with Jun Hoong and her coach Yang Zhuliang.

"It is the hope that she can continue to prepare for the 2022 Asian Games in Hangzhou.

"I also understand the Olympic Council of Malaysia has sent a letter of appeal to the International Olympic Committee (IOC) regarding the change in qualification rules.

"Hopefully, IOC and FINA can consider this matter," he said.

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