Cheer at last for long-suffering divers?

KUALA LUMPUR: Fingers crossed that there will be some good news for the Malaysian diving team.

The world governing body for aquatics, FINA, had earlier cancelled the diving World Cup scheduled from April 18-23 as they were concerned that the organisers had not done enough to protect the athletes from Covid-19.

However, the latest report from Japan stated that the event, which was to be the final Tokyo Olympics qualifier for diving, would go ahead in Japan and that arrangements were being made to hold it in May.

Malaysia diving coach Christian Brooker has welcomed the latest development.

“I’m happy to hear this although it’s still unofficial. But until it’s confirmed by FINA, we will reserve our excitement, ” said Brooker.

“Time is of the essence and I am glad we will have it to prepare if the World Cup takes place next month.

“If it’s on, we will be ready, ” said the Australian at the end of the selection trial organised by Malaysia Swimming yesterday.

In the competition for the men’s 3m springboard individual, Chew Yiwei made a superb comeback from third place to overtake Mohd Syafiq Puteh and Ooi Tze Liang.

Yiwei, who has yet to qualify for the Olympics, came out tops at the end of six dives with 416.65 points.

Syafiq was second with 415.40 points ahead of former Commonwealth Games springboard champion Tze Liang, who had to be satisfied with 395.10.

Yiwei and Tze Liang, however, are expected to get the nod for the 3m springboard individual event.

They will also be pairing to chase for an Olympics ticket in the men’s 3m springboard synchro.

“This is more of a practice competition for them. I think the divers have been improving on their scores compared to when we did the simulation competition end of last year, ” said Brooker.

“There are still little things we need to fix like the entry but I think we are doing okay.

“I’m happy they dealt with the pressure today. The point is we want some sort of competition to see where they are at and we want to make sure we are doing the right thing before we go to the World Cup, ” he added.

Malaysia have yet to qualify for the men’s competition although they have four women divers already on board to the Tokyo Olympics. They are Pandelela Rinong, Leong Mun Yee, Nur Dhabitah Sabri and Wendy Ng Yan Yee.

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