SEPANG: A large group of fans turned up at the Kuala Lumpur International Airport (KLIA) on Monday to welcome newly-crowned world champion Cheong Jun Hoong and the rest of the Malaysian diving team.

The gathered crowd let out a loud roar the moment they caught a glimpse of the athletes.

Eager fans rushed to shake their hands, while others, with their phones in one hand, sought opportunities to take selfies with Jun Hoong and her teammates.

The divers were greeted by fans waving the Malaysian flag, beating drums and chanting "Malaysia Boleh" to celebrate their heroes' return.

Fans had gathered as early as two hours before the divers' scheduled arrival at the KLIA departure hall, some bearing flowers and other gifts for the athletes.

Besides fans, family members of the athletes, Sports Minister Khairy Jamaluddin and representatives from the National Sports Council and the National Sports Institute were also present.

'I thank my coach Yang Zhuliang for the support and guidance in making me a world champion," said the delighted Jun Hoong.

"I would not have achieved it had it not been for the support of my teammates, family members and friends."

Khairy said investment will be made to provide more diving facilities in the country.

"For a start, we will build a harness training pool in Bukit Jalil for the divers.

"I also hope the states will invest in facilities," he added.

The simple ceremony lasted an hour.

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A large group of fans turned up at the Kuala Lumpur International Airport (KLIA) on Monday to welcome newly-crowned world champion Cheong Jun Hoong (front 2nd left) and the rest of the Malaysian diving team. Pic by NSTP/NURUL SYAZANA ROSE RAZMAN.