PETALING JAYA: Malaysia will be hosting an invitational international diving championship but with a twist in Bukit Jalil.
In a first-of-a-kind attempt, a competition via online that will be streamed live is set to take place from Nov 14-15.
It is open to foreign participants, and thus promising quality performance as national divers battle for honour.
The meet will see divers performing their dives through live streaming monitored by judges who will then award points.
It’s the first sport in the country to host an international online competition.
The Malaysia Swimming (MS) are organising the tournament to offset the cancellation of the Australian Diving Grand Prix originally scheduled for November.
Malaysia will be inviting Australia, New Zealand and Singapore for the live streaming competition which is expected to fill the gap caused by the cancellation of the Asian legs of the Diving Grand Prix series because of the Covid-19 pandemic.
MS secretary Mae Chen is excited over their unique international tournament.
“We managed to get Australia, New Zealand and Singapore divers to join the online diving meet, ” said Mae.
“The participants are club-based but some of them are diving for the national team also.
“In Australia and New Zealand, the divers are club-based and they only gather together for centralised training for multi-Games, unlike Malaysia where we have a full-time training programme.
“We approached countries that share the same time zone as us. They were keen to take part as, otherwise, there won’t be any competition this year as all the Diving Grand Prix meets are off the calendar.
“The international championship will take place after our inter-state meet, ” she said.
Mae said the online meet would be useful for the divers in the Road to Tokyo programme and also those training for the Malaysia Games (Sukma) in Johor next year to gauge their performance level.
“The Diving World Cup is scheduled for late February next year and that will be the mission for the national divers but we are not sure if there will be any competition taking place before then, so it’s good to test them out in the online event.
“The meet will be closed to spectators because of the standard operating procedures.”
The Diving World Cup in Tokyo is the final Olympics qualifier. It was rescheduled to next February due to Covid-19 and Malaysia are hoping to earn more Olympics spots.
The divers who have qualified for the Olympics earlier are women divers Leong Mun Yee, Pandelela Rinong, Wendy Ng Yan Yee and Nur Dhabitah Sabri.
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