Jun Hoong and James fail to get the nod


KUALA LUMPUR: Manila SEA Games gold medal-winning divers Cheong Jun Hoong and James Sandayud will not get to participate in the Doha Asian Games. 

The 17-year-old Jun Hoong was left out of the aquatics team because she has just recovered a back injury and the Amateur Swimming Union of Malaysia (Asum) felt that she would not be able to put up a strong challenge for a medal in Doha. 

James was not recommended to partner Bryan Nickson for the 10m platform synchronised diving event because they have a very slim chance to pick up a medal as indicated in the recent World Cup in China where they finished behind the divers from South Korea, North Korea and Japan. 

The duo were the silver medallists in the Melbourne Commonwealth Games in March and made it to the final of the World Championships in Montreal last year. 

Asum secretary Edwin Chong said they had plans for Jun Hoong to compete in the 10m platform event at the Asiad but she has not trained in that discipline for some time. 

“She has just recovered from the back injury and competed in the recent World Junior Diving Championships,” said Edwin. 

“But the coach does not think that she can regain her form in 10m platform diving in the three months to the Games.” 

Young Elizabeth Jimie, who became the first Malaysian girl to win a gold medal in the World Juniors in Kuala Lumpur last week, made the grade and will compete in the individual 1m and 3m springboard events. 

The 14-year-old Sarawakian, who won the World Juniors girls' Group B 1m springboard title, will also partner the experienced Leong Mun Yee for the 3m springboard synchronised competition. 

Besides Bryan, the men's divers for the Asiad are Yeoh Ken Nee, Rossharisham Roslan and Khairul Safwan. 

Swimmer Daniel Bego, who won two silver medals in the World Juniors in Brazil last week, also got the nod. 

The 16-year-old, who set three national records in Brazil, joins Lim Keng Liat and Siow Yi Ting as Category A competitors for the Games. 

Two other young girl swimmers – Chui Lai Kwan and Ong Ming Xiu – were placed under Category B. 

Synchronised swimming also got the nod to compete under Category A. Ten swimmers will be selected for the team and duet events by end of September. 

The team are currently training in China and they are ranked fourth in Asia behind South Korea, Japan and China. 

At the last Asiad in Busan in 2002, the aquatics team won one silver and three bronze medals. Keng Liat won the 100m backstroke silver medals and the divers contributed bronze medals. 

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