An itch Jun Hoong can do without

PETALING JAYA: It has not been smooth sailing for diver Cheong Jun Hoong since arriving in Tokyo on Sunday.

The 2017 world champion diver has been bugged by a skin allergy and only checked out the pool for the first time on Wednesday.

“There’s some itchiness and she has gone to see the doctor. We still don’t know what exactly is the problem but hopefully she will be fine when her competition begins,” her coach Yang Zhuliang disclosed.

Jun Hoong will be contesting in the women’s individual 10m platform alongside Pandelela Rinong. The preliminary competition is scheduled on Aug 4 followed by the top 16 semi-finals and final the next day.

It is still a week away and Zhuliang felt it would’ve been better if they had not arrived so soon.

“We can put the extra days to good use by training in Kuala Lumpur. But since we’re already here, we have to make the best of the situation.”

It has been a struggle for Jun Hoong since launching her bid to qualify for a third straight Olympics after three years on the sidelines following knee surgeries.

Following her comeback, she reunited with Zhuliang under a National Sports Council special programme.

Jun Hoong had to train separately as the national team members are under Li Rui and Christian Brooker.

“She will only start training after the national team divers had finished theirs. We also train during weekends because that was the only time when the pool was available.

“I hope her sacrifices will pay off. Her determination to go through another Olympics is something I respect and I can’t be more proud of her regardless of the result,” added the Chinese coach.

, who guided her to the world title four years ago in Budapest.

Jun Hoong tasted Olympic glory when she partnered Pandelela to win the silver in the 10m platform synchro in Rio de Janeiro Games in 2016.

The individual competition starts today with Wendy Ng Yan Yee and Nur Dhabitah Sabri attempting to be among the 18 divers to make the semi-finals in the 3m springboard.

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