PETALING JAYA: Expect an impressive line-up of divers to make their way to next year’s Malaysia Diving Grand Prix from June 5-7 at at the National Aquatic Centre in Bukit Jalil, Kuala Lumpur.
FINA, the world governing body for aquatics, have given the nod to the Amateur Swimming Union of Malaysia (Asum) to host the Diving GP meet earlier - just before the Olympic Games in Tokyo.
Malaysia first played host to the Diving GP meet in 2016 and it has always been held in October.
With the nation’s proximity and similar weather conditions to Tokyo, expect all the top nations to use the event as a warm-up ahead of the Olympics.
Asum secretary Mae Chen said they applied to bring forward the dates of the Diving GP next year because of the Tokyo Olympics factor.
“We are happy to renew our commitments as one of the host cities with FINA, ” said Mae.
“The Olympics will be in August and it will be a good tune-up for all the divers who have qualified for Tokyo.
“We would have known the Olympics field for diving by then as it’s right after the Diving World Cup in Tokyo (April 21-26).
“The Diving World Cup in Tokyo will be the final qualifying meet for the Olympics. We are optimistic our Malaysian GP next year will attract a very good field because of this, ” she said.
A full-strength Malaysian diving team are expected to be entered for the Diving GP and it will offer a sneak preview of the chances at the Tokyo Olympics.
Four Malaysian divers - Pandelela Rinong, Leong Mun Yee, Nur Dhabitah Sabri and Wendy Ng Yan Yee - have made the cut for the Tokyo Olympics so far.
Visiting the five continents, the Diving Grand Prix kicks off in Madrid, Spain, from Feb 14-16. The circuit will then stop in Rostock, Germany (Feb 20-23) for another European leg before heading to North America with Windsor, Canada (May 14-17).
Asia will then stage two legs in Singapore from May 29-31 before the stop in Kuala Lumpur. Cairo, Egypt will host the event for the first time from June 17-20. The last two legs will be in Bolzano, Italy (July 3-5) and Gold Coast, Australia (Nov 6-8).