Diving: World Cup to be held in Tokyo in May, say organisers

The Tokyo Aquatics Centre (pictured) is the venue for swimming, diving and artistic swimming at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics and Paralympics Games.
The Tokyo Aquatics Centre (pictured) is the venue for swimming, diving and artistic swimming at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics and Paralympics Games.PHOTO: AFP

TOKYO (AFP) - The Diving World Cup, which serves as an Olympic qualifier and test event, will be held in Tokyo around two weeks later than planned, organisers said on Saturday (April 10).

Last week the International Swimming Federation (Fina) said it was moving the competition from the city, reportedly due to Japan's strict Covid-19 border rules.

It had been scheduled for April 18-23 but will now be held on May 1-6, Tokyo 2020 organisers and Fina said.

But the Olympic marathon swim qualifier, originally planned for next month in Japan's Fukuoka, will be moved to Setubal in Portugal.

A series of qualifiers and tests for the pandemic-delayed Tokyo Games - due to open on July 23 - have been cancelled or postponed because of virus border rules.

Japan's travel regulations currently bar virtually all foreign nationals from entering the country.

Tokyo 2020 and Fina said the decision to reschedule the Diving World Cup came after "a very fruitful consultation process" also involving the Japanese government and the International Olympic Committee.

"This decision follows confirmation of the detailed procedures for entry and local hosting arrangements in place for the event in Japan during the month of May for all delegations taking part in the event," the pair said in a statement.

The marathon swim qualifier had been set to take place on May 29-30 in Fukuoka, but will now be held in June at a venue in Portugal that hosted the same event in 2012 and 2016, Tokyo 2020 and Fina said.

"Following the prompt interest and availability from the Portuguese Swimming Federation, the competition will now take place in Setubal (Portugal), on June 19-20," they said.

The status of the Artistic Swimming qualifier on May 1-4 in Tokyo is under review, with a decision to be made in coming days, their statement added.

The water polo test event has also been postponed, after reports said time-keepers and record-keepers who were due to travel to Japan could not take part in the event.

On Friday, Japan's government approved tighter coronavirus measures for the capital and other areas, weeks after lifting a state of emergency and with just over 100 days until the postponed Games.