PETALING JAYA: Diver Jonathan Chan is not expected to contend for an Olympics medal but he is already a winner in his own right.
Jonathan is not just Singapore’s first diver to qualify for the Olympics starting on Thursday but he is also the only male representative for South-East Asia in Tokyo.
The 24-year-old made the cut when he won the men’s 10m platform individual event at the Asian Diving Cup – which acted as the continental qualifying event – in Kuala Lumpur two years ago, beating strong opponents from China, North Korea and Malaysia in the process.
Only the winner of each Asian Diving Cup event would qualify and Jonathan did not target it as a key event, instead hoping to secure qualification at the Diving World Cup in May this year.
But he ended up achieving a six-dive total score of 407.90, 14.45 points ahead of second placed Wang Zewei of China and 60.65 points clear of North Korean bronze medallist Ri Kwon-hyok.
“I think diving is a sport not widely known in Singapore. Compared to swimming, everyone knows swimming,” he said in an interview on the Tokyo 2020 website.
“And so I think it (qualification) was good because we (rode on that) wave of interest to get more people in.”
Jonathan is not the only Singaporean making a historic Olympics appearance.
Teammate Freida Lim will be the first female diver from Singapore to compete in the Olympics when she takes part in the women’s 10m platform individual event.