Jun Hoong pips Chinese divers for historic gold

Gold medallist Cheong Jun Hoong with silver medallist Yajie Si of China (left) and teammate Qian Ren (bronze). — Reuters photo

KUALA LUMPUR: National elite diver Cheong Jun Hoong created history after becoming the first ever Malaysian to secure the gold medal at the International Swimming Federation (Fina) World Championships in Budapest, Hungary, on Wednesday (Thursday in Malaysia).

The 27-year-old Perakian,  who is one half member of the 2016 Rio Olympics silver medallist with Pandelela Rinong, scored 397.50 points in the women’s 10m platform individual to ensure ‘Negaraku’ was played at the Duna Arena.

“My god, I’m a world champion!” said Cheong, quoted by AFP.

“I hoped for a medal, but I didn’t think I could beat the Chinese divers,” she said.

Former world champion China’s Si Yajie took silver just behind the Malaysian with 396.00 points.

“Cheong’s win is a little surprise for me, but I congratulate her,” she said.

Her fellow teammate, Ren Qian, who is the 2016 Rio Olympics gold medallist, had to settle for bronze medal after amassing 391.95 points, according to Fina website;www.fina.org.

Chinese divers have long dominated this event at world championships, winning 22 medals, 16 more than any other country.

Kim Kuk Hyang of North Korea, who won gold in 2015, came fourth with 388.55.

Meanwhile, Pandelela only managed to finish in ninth place out of 12 divers with a total score of 322.40 points.

For the record, Jun Hoong and Pandelela won the bronze medal in the women’s 10m platform synchronised event in the 17th edition of the meet on Sunday. — Bernama

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