PETALING JAYA: The Tokyo Olympics may not be the final international outing for national diver Leong Mun Yee.
The 36-year-old veteran is game for another SEA Games stint end of this year if Malaysia Swimming want to tap into her experience to combine with the younger divers.
It will be a history-in-the-making achievement if Mun Yee makes it to the SEA Games in Hanoi as it will be her 12th appearance.
No other Malaysian athlete has lasted that long when it comes to competing in the SEA Games and Mun Yee wants to show that she is still determined and committed to keeping up with the sport.
“I wanted to call it a day at the Olympics earlier and I’ve informed Malaysia Swimming about it, ” said Mun Yee.
“But then I was asked to consider whether I want to continue on a bit as the SEA Games is just four months after we come back from the Olympics.
“If I am needed, I will continue until the SEA Games, ” said Mun Yee.
Mun Yee is the most decorated Malaysian diver in the SEA Games as she has won a total of 17 gold medals over two decades.
She made her SEA Games debut back in 1997 and is the only active member from the pioneer Jaya ‘98 squad established by the National Sports Council (NSC) in preparation for the 1998 Commonwealth Games in Kuala Lumpur.
It will be a poignant return to memory lane for Mun Yee if she is included in the diving squad to Hanoi.
It was in Hanoi when Vietnam last hosted the SEA Games in 2003 where Mun Yee won the women’s 10m platform individual title and thanks to her, it was also the only gold medal won in diving for Malaysia.
Mun Yee missed out on the last SEA Games in the Philippines as the organisers dropped the 10m platform events from the programme.
Vietnam are expected to feature a full programme for diving this time.
Her focus for now is on preparing for the Tokyo Olympics where she is expected to partner Pandelela Rinong for the women’s 10m platform synchro event.
The duo bagged silver in the event at their last major competition – the World Aquatics Championships in Gwangju, South Korea, two years ago to secure the early Olympic slot.
Mun Yee-Pandelela will have a chance to gauge their form ahead of the Olympics when they compete in the Diving World Cup in Tokyo from May 1-6.
The Tokyo outing this July is also a milestone for herself as she will be the first Malaysian athlete to compete in five Olympics.
Mun Yee featured in four Olympic campaigns from 2000 to 2012 but missed out in the 2016 edition in Rio de Janeiro.