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(Gwangju Swimming) Unbeknownst to herself, diver advances to springboard final

Sports 18:29 July 12, 2019

By Yoo Jee-ho

GWANGJU, July 12 (Yonhap) -- South Korean diver Kim Su-ji is not a scoreboard watcher during competition. When she was in the middle of her 1m springboard event at the FINA World Championships Friday, she had no idea where she ranked among 44 divers in the preliminary.

After the first of her five attempts, Kim was in 12th place, the last spot for the final. After three dives, Kim had climbed to seventh, and ended up qualifying for the final after coming in eight place.

"I don't pay attention to my rankings," Kim said. "After the third attempt, my coach told me, 'You're seventh.' I said, 'Am I? Really?'"

South Korean diver Kim Su-ji smiles after completing an attempt during the women's 1m springboard preliminary at the FINA World Championships at Nambu University Municipal Aquatics Center in Gwangju, 330 kilometers south of Seoul, on July 12, 2019. (Yonhap)

That Kim advanced to the final is a surprise, too. Her main event here will be the 3m springboard, scheduled for next Thursday. Kim has a strong history in the 1m event, having reached the final and finished in eighth in 2015.

"The more international events I get in, the more comfortable I become," she said. "I am far more relaxed now than I was in 2015 or in 2017."

The preliminary for the men's 1m springboard also took place Friday but the final will be Sunday. It's a quicker turnaround for Kim and other finalists, as their medal round is Saturday.

"I feel like I left some points out there today. I wasn't entirely happy with my entry," Kim said. "But I should be able to do better tomorrow. If I can put up a good score tomorrow, then I'll be able to build on that momentum for upcoming events."

South Korean diver Kim Su-ji performs during the women's 1m springboard preliminary at the FINA World Championships at Nambu University Municipal Aquatics Center in Gwangju, 330 kilometers south of Seoul, on July 12, 2019. (Yonhap)

jeeho@yna.co.kr
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