Cheong Jun Hoong (right) and Wendy Ng make it a proud day for Malaysia with gold and silver respectively in the women’s 3m springboard at the Jakabaring Aquatic Centre yesterday.
Cheong Jun Hoong was finally at peace with herself after ending Malaysia's drought in the women's 3-metre springboard individual with a near perfect performance to grab the gold medal at the Jakabaring Aquatic Centre yesterday.
Wendy Ng made it a one-two finish for Malaysia by taking the silver.
Jun Hoong was feeling the pressure, going into the event after being told that Malaysia had not won it since Leong Mun Yee's victory at the 2003 edition in Hanoi.
"I was feeling tensed and nervous over the past two days. I could not even concentrate during training. My coach (Yang Zhuliang) along with my teammates and friends had words of encouragement to calm me down," said the 21-year-old after winning her first ever Sea Games individual title yesterday.
"I must thank everyone for their support especially my coach Zhuliang, who was motivating me from the start. I was given a huge responsibility and thank God, I have fulfilled everyone's wishes."
Jun Hoong, who made her Sea Games debut in 2005 in Manila, recorded consistent scores to earn an impressive 310.70 total with compatriot Wendy posting 290.10 for second.
Indonesia's Sari Ambarwati edged former champion Sheila Mae Perez by just 2.5 points to take the bronze on 270.60. Defending champion Le Thanh Thu Hoang, on 241.45, finished sixth of the seven competitors.
Jun Hoong and Wendy were in a neck-to-neck battle for the gold after the completion of the second dive but the latter's disastrous entry in the third allowed her teammate to surge ahead.
The champion, however, admitted that Wendy's poor dive made her more nervous.
"I knew then I needed to be consistent and also avoid mistakes in my remaining attempts to stay ahead. I couldn't afford an average dive as the others became confident after Wendy failed.
"Overall, I could have done better ... to be frank I was not happy with my performance. I am still inconsistent in my jumps and entries. The only way to get better is by training harder," added Jun Hoong.
Wendy was disappointed for failing to execute a good third dive.
"I took the risk of increasing my level of difficulty and subsequently paid the price.
"I would have been the champion if not for that decision. Anyway, Jun Hoong won and I am happy that she ended Malaysia's drought," said Wendy.