Diving: Lee twins off to Budapest for their first world championships

Timothy Lee on his way to the 3m springboard title, to add to his golds in the 1m springboard and 3m synchronised springboard. His twin and three others will join him in Hungary.
Timothy Lee on his way to the 3m springboard title, to add to his golds in the 1m springboard and 3m synchronised springboard. His twin and three others will join him in Hungary.ST PHOTO: ONG WEE JIN

Timothy Lee clinched the gold medal and a personal best when he tallied 383.05 points in the 3m springboard at the National Diving Championships yesterday.

But a bigger prize awaited him at the end of the day - a ticket to his first Fina World Championships.

Lee and his twin Mark were a cut above the competition at the three-day meet, the 23-year-old duo securing one-two finishes in both individual events (men's 1m springboard and 3m springboard) they competed in, and also clinching the gold in the men's 3m synchronised springboard.

Their performances mean that Mark too will be joining his brother in Budapest next month.

"The people we're going to meet at the world champs are going to be Olympic champions, world-class divers," enthused Mark, who is the younger twin.

"Diving with them is going to teach us a lot, especially ahead of the SEA Games."

The World Championships will be the last competition for the twins before August's SEA Games in Kuala Lumpur.

Team-mates Ashlee Tan, Myra Lee (women's 1m springboard) and Jonathan Chan (men's 10m platform) are also headed to the World Championships after meeting their respective qualifying marks at the national championships.

The twins are hopeful that changes to how they train and prepare will stand them in good stead for the upcoming meets.

"This time round, we're working very closely with SSI (Singapore Sports Institute) - the psychologists there, gym trainers, and nutritionists," said Timothy.

"We can really feel the difference in our diving performances."

Added Mark: "These are things I would say we didn't fully utilise before our previous SEA Games (in 2013 and 2015)."

Mark (367.00 points), who fell behind yesterday owing to a sub-par third dive in the 3m springboard, gave credit to his brother who "nailed all his dives" but said he was viewing his performance in a positive light.

"I still got a pretty high score, and that speaks volumes about what I think I'm capable of," he said.

Ashlee, 17, was the top female diver yesterday, clinching gold in the 3m springboard and in the mixed 3m synchronised springboard with team-mate Joshua Chong, 16.

She said: "There is still room for improvement but I think I managed to dive pretty well today.

"This will help prepare me better for what's coming ahead."

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on June 12, 2017, with the headline 'Lee twins off to Budapest for their first world c'ships'. Print Edition | Subscribe