SASI-based divers turn up heat in lead up to World Cup
Competition is about to ramp up again for Australia's leading divers when they head to Tokyo in April for the FINA Diving World Cup. SASI-based athletes having a strong hand in the team.
EXCITEMENT is building for athletes selected in the Australian team for the 2020 FINA Diving World Cup in Tokyo with SA Sports Institute-linked athletes playing a key part in the team.
The Cup, to be held between 21 and 26 April, will feature the top nations gearing up for the Olympic Games in the same country three months later.
Australia, without a quota secured yet in the synchro competitions, will have SASI-based Matt Carter and Shixin Li in the 3m Synchro, while Laura Hingston and Nikita Hains will pair in the women's 10m Synchro.
Li also is in the 3m Springboard, while Hingston and Melissa Wu are in the 10m Platform.
Office for Sport, Recreation and Racing High Performance manager Lorinda Rugless said it was an excellent result for the local program.
"It is really exciting for SASI to have two divers on the world cup team and a credit to all their hard work and to Rick (Schavone) and all the SASI support staff involved with the athletes' campaigns," Ms Rugless said.
"Diving Australia's decision to relocate VIS divers Laura Hingston and Shixin Li, along with their coach Andy Banks, through to Tokyo has provided the SASI athletes with a fabulous opportunity to train on a daily basis with their synchro partners.
"This can only benefit their performances at the world cup where hopefully both teams will successfully win quota places for Australia for Tokyo 2020.''
National Diving Head Coach Rick Schavone said it would be tough going but he was confident the team could go well at the Tokyo World Cup.
"We are pretty much concentrating on synchro but it will be a tough test for our athletes," Schavone said.
"It looks like our teams need to be in the top three, with Japan as the host country automatically getting one quota.
"Laura and Nikita are a new team and bringing them together is a real plus.''
Meanwhile, an Australian team is competing in Madrid at the first FINA Diving Grand Prix event of the year. SASI-based Hains, Hingston, Carter and Kate Rosman are among the athletes competing between 14 and 16 February.
At this stage all individual events have secured at least one quota for the Tokyo Olympics, while the Aussies are yet to grab any of the synchro positions on offer in the men's and women's 3m and 10m events.
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