Divers must stay among top 12 in World Championships to secure Paris flight
KUALA LUMPUR - The national divers need to ensure that they do not drop out of the world’s top 12 at the 2023 World Aquatics Championships in Fukuoka in order to secure a slot for next year’s Paris Olympics.
Malaysia Swimming (MS) honorary secretary Mae Chen said that although this year’s world championship is not the last stage for them to hunt for a qualification ticket to the prestigious Olympics, the top-12 ranking is important to brighten up the opportunity for national divers to book a ticket to Paris.
She said MS will submit a bid to the International Swimming Federation (FINA) to organise the Asian Diving Cup in an effort to give the national squad a chance to book a slot to Paris before the 2024 World Championships.
"If they fail at this year’s World Cup, there is still a chance next year. MS will ensure that the country’s athletes participate in all the World Championships, to vie for Paris qualification and so that they can also assess their challengers at the world level.
"MS will submit a bid to FINA to host the (Asian) Diving Cup that has qualification for the Olympics, but our divers need to finish as gold medallists in the Asian Diving Cup," she told Bernama at the 58th Malaysian Invitational Age-Group Diving Championships (MIAG) at the National Aquatic Centre at Bukit Jalil recently.
The 2023 World Aquatic Championships in Fukoka, Japan are scheduled to take place from July 14-30 while for 2024 the meet shifts to Doha in Qatar from Feb 2-18.
In order to book a slot to the Paris Olympics, the national squad needs to remain in the top 12 of the world or strike gold in the Asian Diving Cup.
Commenting further, for the world championships in Fukuoka, Chen was optimistic that the national squad will be able to achieve a podium finish through the 10-metre and 3-metre synchronised platform events lined up by diving champions Datuk Pandelela Rinong Pamg and Nur Dhabitah Sabri.
Regarding the Road To Gold (RTG) programme, Chen said that in addition to Pandelela Rinong and Nur Dhabitah, the coaching staff also had high hopes for male divers to be on the RTG list.
Last month, the Youth and Sports Ministry announced the formation of the RTG team which is considered a national project with the objective to coordinate the country’s mission to hunt for the elusive maiden gold medal at the Olympic Games.
Meanwhile, assistant national diving coach Datuk Leong Mun Yee said the national squad are scheduled to leave for China to undergo a training camp before heading to the Fukuoka World Championships after the completion of the SEA Games in Cambodia.
"They will attend a training camp for a month and-a-half in Sichuan before going to the world championships, the date has not yet been confirmed,” she told Bernama recently. - BERNAMA