Diver Bertrand becomes first Malaysian to qualify for Olympics on merit

Gold... Sarawak Bertrand Rhodict at 301 men Platform Individual final at Aquatic Bukit Jalil KAMARUL ARIFFIN/The Star.

PETALING JAYA: Teenager diver Bertrand Rhodict delivered a big surprise when he became the first Malaysian athlete to qualify on merit for 2024 Paris Olympics.

Not much was expected from the 18-year-old in his debut World Championships in Fukuoka, Japan but Bertrand gave an early indication of his promising potential when he qualified at the third position in the preliminary round after scoring 449.65 points in the men’s 10m platform individual event on Friday (July 21).

The top 18 entered the semi-finals and the Sarawak-born nailed the early Olympics ticket for Malaysia after finishing 10th in the semi-finals with 420.70 points.

The top 12 finishers advanced to the final, which will take place on Saturday, and also assured their respective countries of early Olympic tickets.

Cambodia SEA Games champion Enrique Maccartney Harold failed to clear the preliminary round hurdle when he was placed 39th out of 45 competitors with 308.20 points.

Bertrand is the first Malaysian male diver to qualify for the world championships final since 2011.

That year's world meet saw fellow Sarawakian Bryan Nickson Lomas placed 11th in the men's 3m springboard final in Shanghai.

China's Lian Junjie was placed first in the semis with 505.50 points. Australia's Cassiel Rousseau scored 494.10 points to finish second ahead of another Chinese Yang Hao (484.90).

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