Continental Championships – Re-qualifying for the Paris Olympics at next year’s World Championships

South Korean women’s diving sensation Kim Soo-ji (Ulsan Metropolitan City Hall) failed to qualify for the women’s 3-meter springboard final at the 2023 International Swimming Federation World Championships.

Kim Soo-ji finished 16th out of 18 in the women’s 3-meter springboard semifinals at the Fukuoka 2023 World Aquatics Championships on Tuesday at the Fukuoka Prefectural Pool in Fukuoka, Japan, with a total of 283.60 points in the first through fifth dives.

After qualifying for the semifinals earlier in the day with a total of 285.05 points in the first through fifth dives to place 11th out of 51 competitors, Kim finished even lower in the semifinals and missed out on a spot in the final, which is reserved for the top 12 finishers.

In the case of diving at this event, the 12 finalists qualify for the Paris 2024 Olympic Games.

After missing the final, Kim will try again to qualify for Paris at the continental championships or at the 2024 World Championships in Doha, Qatar, next February.

Kim was ranked 33rd through the second period of qualifying, but improved significantly in the third and fourth periods. After improving her overall ranking to 22nd in the third period, Kim jumped to 10th place in the fourth period with a perfect execution of the 305B, a difficulty level 3.0 event that requires gymnasts to “face the pool, leap, turn around, and spin two and a half laps in a pike motion with legs extended, upper body bent, and legs grasped with both arms”.

In the semifinals, however, she was unable to recover from her first and second periods.

In the first period of the semifinals, she performed a 405B with a difficulty of 3.0 that required her to “stand with her back to the pool, leap forward in an inward motion, bend her upper body into a pike position with both legs extended and grasp her legs with both arms,” but she made a mistake and finished in 17th place with a score of 46.50.

After remaining in 18th place through the third period, Kim performed a 305B in the fourth period with no major mistakes to move up to 17th place. In her fifth period, Kim mixed in a twist and landed her fourth place in the period standings, but she only moved up one spot in the overall standings.

Kim also failed to make the final in Budapest last year, finishing 16th in the semifinals of the event.

At the 2019 World Championships in Gwangju, she became the first South Korean diving medalist to win bronze in the 1-meter springboard, which is not an Olympic event, but failed to make the semifinals in the 3-meter springboard after qualifying 21st.

Kim, who finished 19th in the 1-meter springboard, 12th in the synchronized 3-meter springboard, eighth in the mixed team event and 16th in the 3-meter springboard, will compete in the mixed synchronized 3-meter springboard with Lee Jae-kyung (Gwangju Metropolitan Sports Federation) in her final event on Sunday.

Meanwhile, earlier in the day at Momochi Seaside Park in Fukuoka, the Korean Open Water Team posted a time of 1:19:28.70 in the 6-kilometer mixed open water team event, placing 18th out of 21 competitors.

Park Jae-hoon (Seogwipo City Hall), Sung Jun-ho (Korea Gymnastics University), Lee Hae-rim (Gyeongbuk Provincial Office), and Lee Jung-min (Anyang City Hall) swam 1.5 kilometers per person.

The Korean Open Water Team concluded the competition with the mixed team event.

In the 6-kilometer mixed team event, Italy won the gold medal with a time of 1:10:31.20, while Hungary took the silver medal with a time of 1:10:35.30. 한국야동 Australia took the bronze with a time of 1:11:26.70.

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