South Korean diving standout Woo Haram (25) and junior Lee Jae-kyung (24) have virtually guaranteed their place at the Paris Olympics in the men’s 3-meter springboard event.
Woo Haram scored a total of 380.20 points in the first through sixth periods of the men’s 3-meter springboard qualifying round at the 2024 World Championships at Hamad Aquatic Center in Doha, Qatar, today (June 6), placing him 15th out of 70 competitors.
Lee finished qualifying in 14th place, one spot above Uharam, with a score of 381.60.
The pair qualified for the semifinals, which are reserved for the top 18 finishers, and effectively secured their spot in Paris before the semifinals on Sunday.
While men’s 3-meter springboard is an “Olympic sport,” diving allocates qualifying spots for Paris to National Olympic Committees (NOCs) rather than individual athletes.
For the individual diving event, the International Swimming Federation (ISF) has decided that 12 spots will be allocated to the World Championships in Fukuoka in 2023, a maximum of five spots for each continental championship, and a maximum of 12 spots for the World Championships in Doha in 2024.
Each country can earn a maximum of two qualification spots for Paris in this event.
China, Mexico, Germany, Italy, and the United States have already earned two qualification spots for the Men’s 3-meter Springboard Paris Olympics at the Fukuoka event, and cannot add more spots at this event, which saw two Chinese, two German, one Mexican, and one Italian athletes advance to the semifinals.
In addition, Australia’s Li Shixin and Egypt’s Mohamed Farouk, who did not earn the maximum two spots per country but earned their own tickets to Paris at the last event in Fukuoka, advanced to the semifinals of this event, but will not be able to add to their tickets to Paris due to a rule that prevents the same player from qualifying again in the same event.
As a result, Uharam and Lee have secured a spot in the top 12 of the players who can qualify for the event.
However, the International Swimming Federation, which plans to bring the total number of athletes to 136, will announce the final results on the 22nd after first calculating the number of spots allocated to each country and continent. Unless something changes, Uharam and Lee are expected to qualify just by advancing to the semifinals, and the Korean Swimming Federation is also planning to give them tickets to the Paris Olympics after they win the ‘national qualification’.
South Korean diving sensation Woo Haram has qualified for his third consecutive Olympics, having previously competed in Rio de Janeiro in 2016 and Tokyo 2020 in 2021.
Lee Jae-kyung, who won bronze in the men’s 3-meter springboard at the Hangzhou Asian Games last fall, will be competing in her first Olympic Games.
After placing fourth in the men’s 3-meter springboard at the Tokyo Olympics, the highest finish ever for South Korean diving, Woo Haram suffered a terrible slump.
The cause was a back injury.
He missed the 2022 World Championships in Budapest, and at the 안전놀이터 2023 Games in Fukuoka, he finished 19th on the 3-meter springboard, missing out on a semifinal berth that would have earned him 18th.
Uharam began his rebound at the Hangzhou Asian Games last fall, winning a bronze medal in the 1-meter springboard and a silver medal in the men’s synchronized 3-meter springboard paired with Lee Jae-kyung.
Heading into this event, Uharam was still concerned when he felt pain in his injury again during training in Doha, but he still managed to qualify for his primary goal of Paris.
In today’s qualifier, Uharam was third through the fourth period and fifth through the fifth, but a big mistake on a two-and-a-half-turn, torso-beating twist in the final sixth period with a difficulty level of 3.9 dropped him to 15th place, where he could only add 46.80 points.
After finishing 35th in this event at last year’s Fukuoka Games, the ‘atypical diver’ Lee Jae-kyung gained confidence after winning an individual medal at the Hangzhou Asian Games and reaching the semifinals of the World Championships.
Uharam and Lee will compete in the semifinals on Sunday to reach the final (12-man).
She Tsui (27-China), who won the event in Budapest in 2017 and Gwangju in 2019, topped the day’s qualification with 493.05 points.
Wang Zhengyuan (22-CN), who is looking for his third consecutive world title, qualified second with 474.30 points.