Korean divers Kim Su-ji, left, and Woo Haram pose during the media day at the Jincheon National Training Center in Jincheon, North Chungcheong Province, Tuesday. Yonhap

Woo Haram made a small piece of Korean diving history at the Tokyo Olympics in 2021, when he finished in fourth place in the men’s 3-meter springboard. It was the best performance by a Korean diver at an Olympic Games.

With his nagging back injury now behind him, Woo said Tuesday he has reasons to believe he can do even better this summer in Paris.

“Before Tokyo, I couldn’t even train as much as I wanted because of the pandemic. The buildup couldn’t have been worse,” Woo looked back during the national team media day at the Jincheon National Training Center in Jincheon, some 85 kilometers southeast of Seoul.

“This year, I feel so much better physically. And my technical training has been going well, too. I think my preparation for Paris has been much better than for Tokyo.”

Woo had been plagued by lower back issues until earlier this year, but he claimed he is fully healthy now.

“With physical issues gone, I started feeling better mentally as well,” the 26-year-old said. “And because I’ve been training in such a positive mindset, I’ve been able to get into great form.

Korea will also pin its diving medal hopes on Kim Su-ji, the reigning world bronze medalist in the women’s 3m springboard.

It was Kim’s second individual world championships medal. In 2019, she had also won bronze in the 1m springboard, though it didn’t carry much weight because the 1m springboard is not an Olympic event.

And standing on the world championships podium in the 3m event this year was a major boost to her confidence, Kim said.

“I think this Olympics should be a fun one,” said Kim, who had previously competed at the 2012 and 2021 Olympics but failed to reach 안전 any final then. “I feel great and I think my preparation is moving in the right direction. I expect good results in Paris.

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