Cheong claims first gold for Malaysia
Malaysian Cheong Jun Hoong upstaged China’s goldmedal hopefuls in Wednesday’s final of the women’s 10meter platform at the World Aquatics Championships in Budapest.
The 27-year-old Cheong upset Si Yajie and Ren Qian to become the first Malaysian to win a world diving title.
The Chinese collapse evoked memories of the 2015 worlds in Kazan, where Ren was beaten by DPR Korea’s Kim Kukhyang on the final dive.
Ren sat atop the rankings after two dives in the Hungarian capital, scoring 64.35 for her 207C move in the third round.
Cheong, however, took 81.60 points on her third attempt to seize the lead and sealed gold with solid dives in the next two rounds, finishing with a total of 397.50 points.
“I really didn’t think I would finish first. Maybe top three,” beamed Cheong.
“I didn’t even see the scoreboard because I really needed to focus on every dive. That’s why I ignored the scoreboard. After the last dive, when I came out and saw my top ranking, I was kind of shocked.”
Runner-up Si finished 1.50 points behind Cheong, while Ren, who has claimed two golds in the synchronized platform over the last week, took bronze with a total of 391.95.
“I was satisfied with my performance in other two events, while feeling kind of disappointed with today’s result,” said the 16-year-old Ren. “Cheong did really well today.”
Si, who won gold in 2013 and was fourth two years later in Russia, admitted she wasn’t expecting Cheong’s performance.
“My performance was normal, but I lacked a little luck today,” she added.
Meanwhile, Ashley Twichell of the US clocked 59 minutes and 7 seconds to win the women’s 5km open-water swim. China’s Lei Shan and Qu Fang ranked 17 th and 34th respectively.
Russia’s Svetlana Kolesnichenko clinched the fourth synchronized swimming gold of the tournament as she triumphed in the women’s solo with 96.1333 points.
Spain’s Ona Carbonell took silver at 95.0333, while bronze went to Anna Voloshyna, of Ukraine, with a score of 93.3000.