KUALA LUMPUR: Diver Yeoh Ken Nee will only focus on the 3m springboard event in the World Aquatics Championships in Melbourne next month in his bid to qualify for the 2008 Beijing Olympics.
The Amateur Swimming Union of Malaysia (Asum) secretary, Edwin Chong, said that Ken Nee would not compete in the 1m springboard competition because it was not an Olympic event.
Ken Nee has produced better results in the 1m individual springboard last year, having won a silver in the Commonwealth Games in Melbourne last March. He also took gold in the Australian Open prior to the Games and was fourth in the Doha Asiad last December.
Although Ken Nee won a silver medal with Rossharisham Roslan in the 3m springboard synchronised event in Doha, it will be tough for the pair to achieve Olympic qualification in the world championships.
Only the top three pairs in synchronised diving competitions get direct entry to the Olympics from the world championships. Four more pairs will be decided from the World Cup in Beijing next year.
“Ken Nee has a better chance to qualify from the individual event. He will make the grade if he makes it to the top 12 final,” said Edwin.
“His Chinese coach (Li Lijie) wants him to only focus on the 3m springboard event in the world meet and try to gain early qualification to the Olympics.”
Besides Ken Nee and Rossharisham, the other male divers for the world championships are Bryan Nickson Lomas, Khairul Safwan Mansur and the latest addition to the national squad, Ahmad Fakhri. The female divers are Doha Asiad bronze medallists Leong Mun Yee, Elizabeth Jimie and Cheong Jun Hoong.
In their preparations for the world meet, the national diving squad are currently in training in Kunming.