The Star : Jian Han breaks 16-year national record to reach final in Gold Coast

GOLD COAST: Tern Jian Han made yet another big splash as he smashed Alex Lim Keng Liat’s 16-year national record in the 50m backstroke event.

The 22-year-old clocked a time of 25.60 en route to finishing sixth in the semi-finals at the Commonwealth Games.

The time was good enough to erase Alex’s time of 25.67, which was recorded during the 2002 Manchester Games.

The superb effort also earned Jian Han a place in the final as he qualified as the fifth fastest swimmer.

He is the second Malaysian to make the final at this Games.

Welson Sim made the final in the 400m freestyle on Thursday but only finished seventh.


The Star : Welson splashes into 400m final in Gold Coast


GOLD COAST: Welson Sim ended Malaysia’s long absence in the pools by making the final of the men’s 400m freestyle event.

The 21-year-old splashed his way to a fourth place finish in his heat with a time of 3:51.78 at the Optus Aquatic Centre on Thursday.

It was certainly not his best timing as it was way off his personal best and national record time of 3:49.48.

But it was just enough for the Sarawakian to squeeze into the final as he was the eighth fastest swimmer.

It is still an achievement for Welson as he is the first Malaysian swimmer in 12 years to make the final at Commonwealth Games.

Alex Lim Keng Liat was the last swimmer to make the final when he made swam in the 50m backstroke event at the 2006 Melbourne Games.

“I think a 3:51 timing in the morning session and to finish fourth in my heats is not too bad,” said a relieved Welson.

“It’s actually quite a dangerous placing and I knew I was just hanging in there but I’m glad to make the final.”

Welson, whose best achievement was winning the Mare Nostrum Tour in Monte Carlo, Monaco last year, will return for the final in the evening session.



The Star : Diver Jun Hoong fears the cold weather Down Under

Looking for a breakthrough: Cheong Jun Hoong has not been at her best since winning gold at the World Championships last year.

PETALING JAYA: Diver Cheong Jun Hoong will go into the Gold Coast Commonwealth Games with a big reputation.

But it will count for nothing as she looks to start from scratch when the four-day competition starts from April 11-14.

The 27-year-old, who has been dealing with injuries, has not been at her best since winning gold at the World Championships last year.

The Ipoh-born Jun Hoong has a lot to work on after she missed out on the final of the 10m platform event in the first two legs of the Diving World Series – Beijing, China, and Shizuoka, Japan – last month.

“My results in the last two events showed that I still have a lot to work on.

“I believe there’s still a lot of room for improvement, especially in the individual event as I’m not quite there yet. I’m really taking it one step at a time and trying not to over-exert myself,” she said, adding that the biggest challenge would be the weather.

“I’m still not good dealing with cold. There’s a lot to overcome and it’s not as easy as people think”, added Jun Hoong.

But while Jun Hoong is struggling in the individual event, it is in the 10m platform synchro event that she has a chance to strike gold.

With her partner Pandelela Rinong, the pair are Olympic silver and World Championships bronze medallists.

They also took silver at the Beijing leg of the world series while finishing with a bronze in the Shizuoka leg.

And Malaysia, who won one gold in both the 2010 New Delhi and 2014 Glasgow Games, will surely be banking on Jun Hoong-Pandelela to deliver when the platform synchro starts on April 11.

Besides Jun Hoong-Pandelela, the other Malaysian pair participating are Leong Mun Yee-Nur Dhabitah Sabri.



The NST : Diving targets four medals, none for swimming

By Aida Adillah Mat

KUALA LUMPUR: The success of national diver Cheong Jun Hoong in upstaging China’s much fancied divers in becoming a world champion has put the national divers in a class of their own leading up to the Commonwealth Games in Gold Coast, Australia from April 4-15.

However, the danger, or rather threat from English, Canadian and Australian divers cannot be taken lightly.

Looking at the achievements from four years ago at the 2014 Glasgow edition, England dominated the medal haul by winning four golds, followed by Canada (3) and Australia (2). Malaysia did not return from the Games empty handed at the time thanks to Ooi Tze Liang who struck gold in the 2m springboard.

However, the good partnership and understanding between Jun Hoong and the country’s other top female diver, Pandelela Rinong who teamed up to win silver in the 10m synchronised platform at the recent Fina World Series in Beijing, China has brought newfound hope that the national diving team can do better this time round compared to four years ago.

Though the national diving camp is fretting over the injuries to Jun Hoong, Pandelela and Leong Mun Yee as they race against time to get fit and ready for competition.

Amateur Swimming Union of Malaysia (ASUM) honorary secretary, Mae Chen said that the three divers injuries are not that serious and that the divers preparations are going according to plan so they remain optimistic and confident in being able to do well in Gold Coast.

Mae Chen added that realistically the national divers will be aiming to win four medals which was achieved four years ago in Glasgow (1 gold, 2 silver and 1 bronze).

The good form of young divers such as Hanis Nazirul Jaya Surya and Jellson Jabillin are also being banked on as Nur Dhabitah Sabri form has been inconsistent of late.

“I just hope that all the national divers will be able to perform at the Games. Even though Dhabitah did not perform very well at the two recent Fina World Series meets, We are all hoping that she will be back at her best in Gold Coast,” she said.

Meanwhile, five national swimmers, Welson Sim, Chan Jie Tern Jian Han, Keith Lim and Malaysia’s sole female swimmer, Caroline Chan will carry Malaysia’s hopes into the competition pool in Gold Coast.

Based on their recent achievements and timings, any target of a medal is realistically out of reach.

In fact, coach Paul Birmingham has also admitted that the national swimmers do not stand much of a chance in winning medals because they will be competing against world and Olympic champions whose performance and timings are far superior.


Young junior swimmers awarded the Malaysia All Stars recognition

At the recent Malaysian International Age Group Swimming Championships 2018, ASUM launched the Malaysian Swimming All Star Program. The initiative has been designed to recognise and encourage our high achieving junior swimmers. Too often only our medal winners are recognised at the junior level and it is important to reward and motivate those athletes who may not yet be physically ready to challenge for medals but are still swimming fast times.

The All Star Qualifying standards were set for each event and each age group. The standards are expected to be roughly equal to a top 10 performance in the races. All swimmers that exceeded the qualifying times qualified to be a Malaysian All Star and received a certificate and All Star swim cap to recognise their achievement.

We will be continuing the All Star Program next year an we hope the program will continue to inspire our hardworking athletes to continue to train hard.

All Star Swimmers by state :

Selangor (45) , Kuala Lumpur (42), Sabah (22), Penang (22), Johor (14), Melaka (13), Sarawak (8), Perak (4), Negeri Sembilan (1), Pahang (1), Terengganu (1),

ASUM congratulates all swimmers for the great achievement.


Paul Birmingham

Head Coach
Malaysian National Swim Team



NST : Azizulhasni, Jun Hoong honoured at National Sports Awards

By Aida Adilah Mat – March 14, 2018


PETALING JAYA: As expected, reigning world champions Azizulhasni Awang and Cheong Jun Hoong were named as Sportsman and Sportswoman of the Year at the 2017 National Sports Awards on Tuesday.

Track cyclist Azizulhasni, a bronze medallist at the Rio Olympics, won the keirin gold medal at the World Championships in Hong Kong in April last year to become the first ever Malaysian to wear the rainbow jersey.

Diver Jun Hoong was equally impressive at the World Aquatics Championships in Budapest last July.

The Ipoh-born ended the dominance of China divers by winning the women’s 10m platform individual gold medal.

It is Jun Hoong’s first Sportswoman of the Year award and is Azizulhasni’s third win after 2009 and 2010.

Azizulhasni said he is honoured to be recognised for his achievements.

“I am very grateful to be named Sportsman of the Year for 2017. The is the third time I have won the most prestigious award for athletes in Malaysia,” said Azizulhasni.

“Winning this makes all the hard work, sacrifices and challenges I had faced worthwhile.

“It will definitely inspire me to strive for greater heights. I am now determined to do well at the upcoming Gold Coast Commonwealth Games and Indonesia Asian Games.”

Azizulhasni added that he hopes his fellow Malaysian athletes will all work hard to achieve greater success.

The duo received RM20,000 in prize money, a trophy and a certificate each which was presented by Yang di-Pertuan Agong Sultan Muhammad V.

Jun Hoong, however, did not attend the awards as she is currently in Japan for the second leg of the Diving World Series.