SINGAPORE - Despite the stress of having to take her final exams in less than 48 hours, Singapore's Freida Lim has all but secured Singapore's second quota spot in diving in this year's Olympics.
She finished 15th in the field of 18 with a five-dive score of 272.35 in the women's 10m platform semi-final at the Fina Diving World Cup in Tokyo, Japan on Wednesday (May 5).
This is the Republic's best finish at the event at the World Cup. On Tuesday, she had qualified for the semi-final by placing 11th in the preliminaries with a five-dive score of 289.60.
In this millennium, there have been no fewer than 26 competitors in the Olympic women's individual platform events, and 16 spots had already been secured through the World Championships (12) and continental championships (four, after North Korea announced its withdrawal from the Tokyo Games).
Lim should have done enough to qualify with her result even though she failed to make the 12-woman final. This World Cup semi-final features Canada and Mexico - who had already attained the maximum quota of two places for each Olympic event - and Malaysia's Pandelela Rinong and Japan's Matsuri Arai - who were in the aforementioned 16. Based on preliminary calculations, Lim is ranked 26th.
If this is confirmed by Fina in June, the 23-year-old will become Singapore's first female diver at the July 23-Aug 8 Olympics, with the Singapore Swimming Association confirming with The Straits Times she will be its representative.
While Malaysia's 2017 world champion Cheong Jun Hoong finished three spots behind Lim, its local media had reported that the 31-year-old is also through to Tokyo.
Lim, who is pursuing a double major in dietetics and culinary science and nutrition at University of Georgia, said: "I think I did pretty well. Both my scores are decently close to my personal best (of 296), so I have been pretty consistent and I'm happy with how I've performed here. I have no regrets because I gave it my all."
Meanwhile, in the men's 3m springboard, Singaporean twins Mark (323.10) and Timothy Lee (303.50) finished 38th and 45th out of 54 divers respectively and did not qualify for Thursday's semi-final.
In Pattaya, Thailand, Singaporean Stephenie Chen missed out on Olympic qualification for the women's K1 500 metres event by less than one second at the Asian Canoe Sprint Qualifiers.
Needing to win the final, the 29-year-old finished second in 1min 54.649sec, just behind Kazahstan's Natalia Sergeyeva, who crossed the line in 1:53.711.
Chen has another chance to qualify on Thursday when she races in the women's K1 200m event, while compatriot Brandon Ooi takes part in the men's K1 200m event.