S'pore twins take synchro bronze medal in Fina event

Lee siblings say podium finish at home is always special, as they focus on the next leg in Australia

Mark and Timothy Lee's preparations for the new season took off in style when they won a bronze in the Singapore leg of the Fina Diving Grand Prix series yesterday.

In their first competition since the August SEA Games, the twins scored 366 in the men's synchronised springboard event at the OCBC Aquatic Centre.

They finished behind South Korean champions Kim Yeong Nam and Woo Haram (438.18) and second-placed Russian brothers Viacheslav and Evgenii Novoselov (396.9).

Still, the 23-year-old Singaporeans were pleased with their performance at the Nov 3-5 event, which was only their third time performing a synchronised dive since August.

Said Timothy: "We knew it was going to be a close fight (for third place) with Germany and Croatia because we were doing dives with the same degree of difficulty.

"So we knew we had our chances, but we had to dive consistently to secure the bronze medal and I'm glad we managed to do that."

Timothy (front) and Mark Lee of Singapore in action during the Fina Diving Grand Prix's men's synchronised 3m springboard final at the OCBC Aquatic Centre yesterday.
Timothy (front) and Mark Lee of Singapore in action during the Fina Diving Grand Prix's men's synchronised 3m springboard final at the OCBC Aquatic Centre yesterday. ST PHOTO: KEVIN LIM

They had taken a two-week break after the August SEA Games, and then focused on fine-tuning their basics and getting their strength back, said Mark.

He added: "Trusting in those process goals ultimately will lead to a positive outcome, and winning (a medal) at home always feels a little bit sweeter than winning anywhere else."

The duo left last night for the Gold Coast, where the next leg of the eight-stop Fina Diving Grand Prix series will take place from Nov 9-11. The Gold Coast Aquatic Centre is also the venue for next April's Commonwealth Games.

It is believed the Chinese, German and British Olympic teams will be in Queensland, with the Commonwealth countries also expected to dispatch their leading athletes. Tim conceded: "It's going to be on a different scale compared to this one."

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  • Kim Yeong Nam, with four golds, is the most bemedalled athlete at the Singapore leg of the Fina Diving Grand Prix. He won the 3m springboard, synchronised springboard, men's and mixed synchronised platform.

But the Lees, who met the qualifying mark for the Commonwealth Games during the Kuala Lumpur SEA Games, are remaining calm.

Mark said: "Our coach reminded us that we should attack the Gold Coast in the same way we attack Singapore, in the sense that we should be focusing on the changes we've been working on the past couple of weeks instead of focusing on the results."

South Korea's Kim was the top performer in the Singapore leg with four golds.

The 22-year-old also won the mixed synchronised platform final (with Cho Eunbi), 10m synchronised platform (with Woo) and the 3m springboard, where he defeated Chinese world champion Peng Jianfeng.

Reflecting on his remarkable outing here, Kim said he did not expect to do so well, but pointed out that he will not rest on his laurels as China had not sent its best divers.

He added: "I can't lower my expectations. I want to train harder and win medals when I compete against the top Chinese divers."

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on November 06, 2017, with the headline 'S'pore twins take synchro bronze medal in Fina event'. Print Edition | Subscribe