Zhuliang can’t imagine World Cup not taking place

PETALING JAYA: It would be an injustice to the divers if the Diving World Cup could not take place at all, according to former national coach Yang Zhuliang.

FINA, the world governing body for aquatics, called off the World Cup scheduled in Tokyo from April 18-23 after they could not get an assurance on the health safety measures taken to protect the participants.

Japan had wanted to impose an additional three days of quarantine upon arrival for officials but participating athletes would be exempted from the quarantine.

FINA are now scrambling to find an alternative host for the event that is meant to be the last Olympics qualifying event.

There is the fear that FINA may decide to scrap the World Cup meet and choose qualification for the Tokyo Olympics field based on the results from the 2019 World Aquatics Championships in Gwangju, South Korea.

The world meet in Gwangju was the last major competition for aquatics as there were no major events in 2020 because of the Covid-19 pandemic.

If this is the case, it will be the end of former world champion diver Cheong Jun Hoong’s dream of earning a third straight Olympics appearance in Tokyo.

Jun Hoong partnered Pandelela Rinong to a silver in the women’s 10m platform synchro at the last Olympics in Rio de Janeiro in 2016 but she has not competed for nearly three years after undergoing a knee operation.

The Chinese coach, who has been preparing Jun Hoong for the past one year to make a comeback in the 10m platform individual, is optimistic FINA can come up with the best solution.

“I hope they can bring the World Cup to another country where everyone goes through the same screening process.

“In my opinion, it is not fair for the divers who didn’t go for the world championships to be left out if FINA choose this process.

“Jun Hoong didn’t go to the world championships because she was still going through recovery and so are the North Korean team.

“I hope FINA can find another venue agreeing to host the World Cup meet so that we have this chance to fight for the Olympic spot.

“FINA will have a meeting on April 6 and hopefully something good will come out.

“All we can do now is to continue training as usual, ” said Zhuliang.

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Diving World Cup , Yang Zhuliang , FINA , World Cup


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