“Twenty-two years in diving and I think it’s time for me to enter a new chapter.” Those are the parting words of the 2017 world diving champion Cheong Jun Hoong. The Ipoh-born Jun Hoong entered the history books when she became the first Malaysian to win a diving world title when she captured the 10m individual platform gold at the 17th FINA World Championships in Budapest.
Jun Hoong’s announcement comes as the second experienced Malaysian diver second to transition away from competitive diving in the last week after Leong Mun Yee. Jun Hoong's breakthrough, world-championship winning 2017 season was followed by a difficult knee surgery in 2018.
She went back to her former coach Yang Zhuliang in her attempt to make a third Olympics appearance in Tokyo. After two years away from competition, Jun Hoong qualified and competed at the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games, but she did not progress beyond the preliminary round.
Jun Hoong took to social media to announce her retirement on Monday, saying:
Jun Hoong’s message reads:
"There must be a way to succeed, and there must be a reason for failure; success is not proud, and failure doesn't need to be discouraging. I face my failure honestly. After my second knee surgery in September 2018, I was fearless because of my passion. From treatment to recovery, to rebuilding the courage to stand on the springboard and jumping platform, to the global epidemic, I tried my best to fight for the Olympics. The Olympic journey this time is indeed more difficult than before. Of course, I have to admit that it is regrettable that I did not perform well and did not achieve good results.
"After returning from the Olympics, the focus is on treating injuries and recovering health as soon as possible. Although there is a certain age, age is only a number. I have experienced a lot of injuries and have been learning how to deal with them. At least I know I can still do it. No one is an athlete without injury, relying on active treatment and tenacious confrontation. Although I want to continue to win glory for the country, it is a fact that I will not be renewed, and I can only accept this decision.
"I am grateful to MSN, KBS, OCM for their support and help all the time. I also appreciate ISN's assistance in all aspects including doctors, rehabilitation physiotherapy, psychological counselling and so on. Thank you for your continued support and encouragement to diving. I am really grateful for the guidance of the nobles at every stage, and I am grateful for your company.
"Here I announce my retirement.
"Regardless of what comes next, in the new year, I wish everyone peace and happiness, and the most important thing is physical and mental health. #张俊虹"