IPOH – “My heart was pounding watching the event,” said Leow Lai Kuan, 51, the mother of national elite diver Cheong Jun Hoong, who won a gold medal at the FINA World Aquatics Championships in Budapest, Hungary on Wednesday.
Leow said she and her husband, Cheong Sun Meng, 55, were glued to the the TV set watching the live broadcast of their daughter in action at 12.20 am today and jumped in joy when Jun Hoong won the gold medal.
She said that although she believed that her daughter would bring home a medal, she did not expect it would be the gold medal.
“I was pleasantly surprised that she managed to defeat the two Chinese divers to win the gold medal and I am very happy to know she had done her best,” she said when met by reporters at her residence here today.
Leow said as a mother, she always gave her support but never set any targets as she did not want to pressure Jun Hoong.
Meanwhile, according to Jun Hoong’s younger brother, Jun Yeng, 24, one of his sister’s strategies to stay calm was not to see the scoreboard.
“She only gives full attention to the dive and performs her best, she (Jun Hoong) tells us she does not see the scoreboard until the final dive is done.
“Actually, I’m quite sorry for her because I know she’s in pain due to an old back injury, but I’m proud that it was not an obstacle for her,” he said.
He added that he was not with his mother and father watching the competition because he was revising his lessons in his room as he would be sitting for an examination next month.
“We hope Malaysians will continue to support Jun Hoong because her success is not for herself but for the nation,” he said, adding that his sister would undergo training for the Sea Games after returning from Budapest.
Jun Hoong, 27, created history by becoming Malaysia’s first world champion in diving when she won the gold medal in the women’s individual 10m platform in Budapest today.
Jun Hoong, who also won a silver medal with Pandelela Rinong Pamg in the 10m platform synchronised at the Rio Olympics last year, amassed 397.50 points to ensure the ‘Negara Ku’(national anthem) was played at the Duna Arena, Budapest earlier this morning (Malaysian time).
She beat two of her strongest rivals, Si Yiajie (former world champion) and Ren Qian (Olympic gold medalist in Rio de Janeiro) of China after they each collected 396.00 points and 391.95 points respectively for the silver and bronze medals.
The medal was her second at the FINA World Aquatic Championships this time after a bronze in the 10m platform synchronised with Pandelela Rinong.- BERNAMA