The national divers will be back at the pool next Monday but four-time Olympian Leong Mun Yee will not be heading for the water – she will be at the gym first.
For her, it’s all about building the foundation for what will is going to be a challenging final year of her illustrious career.
“I lost muscle mass without proper training and will need to gain it back before doing proper diving. I have been waiting for the green light to get back to training.
“I have been out of training too long and the dry gym workouts improve our performance.
“It will be an important year for me and the priority now is on getting ready for the Olympics,” said Mun Yee, who has indicated that the Tokyo Games will be her last international appearance.
It will be a history-making outing for Mun Yee when she turns up in Tokyo next year as she will be the first Malaysian athlete to compete in five Olympics. She competed in Sydney (2000), Athens (2004), Beijing (2008) and London (2012). She was not picked for the Rio de Janeiro edition in 2016. Coach Yang Zhuliang opted for Pandelela Rinong to partner Cheong Jun Hoong and the duo went on to claim silver in the women’s 10m platform synchro.
She made the cut for Tokyo in the women’s 10m platform synchro with Pandelela when they bagged silver at the World Aquatics Championships in Gwangju, South Korea last year.
Next year, she has another target besides the Olympics. She would like a medal in the Diving World Cup in February, too. It will be a great warm-up as the World Cup, originally scheduled for April, will be held in Tokyo, at the same venue as the Olympics.
With four Olympic appearances, Mun Yee is now a member of a very exclusive club comprising sailor Kevin Lim and shuttler Lee Chong Wei.
Tokyo will see two more new four-time Olympians in Pandelela and track cyclist Azizulhasni Awang.