PETALING JAYA: The anxious wait is finally over after Malaysia Swimming confirmed that the Diving World Cup in Tokyo will take place as scheduled from April 18-23.
There were fears that diving’s final Olympics qualifying event will either be postponed or scrapped as the Japanese capital struggled to cope with the surge in Covid-19 cases.
The city and surrounding regions are still under a state of emergency although they are plans to lift the restrictions next month.
“We got confirmation from FINA (aquatics world governing body) two days ago that the Diving World Cup is on, ” said Malaysia Swimming secretary Mae Chen yesterday.
“It’s a huge relief as it would have been a big blow to our divers if it was postponed again or scrapped.
“Our divers have not had any competition for more than a year, so it’s welcoming news as they get to gauge their performance against the other countries.
“We will apply to the Youth and Sports Ministry through the National Sports Council for the necessary approval now that we got the confirmation.”
The meet will take place at the newly completed Tokyo Aquatics Centre and is an Olympics test event.
It was first postponed by a year at the onset of the Covid-19 pandemic last year.
The World Cup will be the final Olympics qualifying meet with quota slots to be decided in the individual and synchro events.
Four slots each will be decided in the 3m springboard and 10m platform synchro events with 18 spots in the 3m springboard and 10m platform individual.
Pandelela Rinong, Leong Mun Yee, Nur Dhabitah Sabri and Wendy Ng Yan Yee have made the cut for the Tokyo Games but Mae is optimistic more can be on board.
“We have secured the maximum two individual spots for the women’s 3m springboard individual (through Dhabitah and Wendy). We are hoping for Dhabitah and Wendy to get the 3m springboard synchro ticket too.
“We hope Cheong Jun Hoong can get the second spot in the women’s 10m platform individual while Chew Yiwei and Ooi Tze Liang will be fighting to qualify in the men’s 3m springboard individual.”
At the last Olympics in Rio de Janeiro in 2016, Malaysia bagged the silver in the women’s 10m platform synchro event through Pandelela-Jun Hoong.