Woo Ha-ram secures a spot at the Tokyo GamesKorean diver Woo Ha-ram on Wednesday clinched a berth at next year’s Tokyo Olympics in the men’s 3 meter springboard.
Woo advanced to the final of the 3 meter springboard at the FINA World Aquatics Championships on Wednesday at Nambu University Municipal Aquatics Center in Gwangju. The top 12 divers from the semifinal field of 18 reached the final, and those dozen also punched their tickets to Tokyo for next summer.
Woo was third in the preliminary and was in danger of missing the final before rallying with a strong final dive. Fellow Korean Kim Yeong-taek was eliminated in the preliminary by finishing 33rd.
Tokyo next year will be Woo’s second consecutive Olympic appearance. At Rio de Janeiro in 2016, Woo finished 11th in the 10 meter platform, the highest placement by a Korean diver at any Olympics, and 24th in the 3 meter springboard.
The preliminary and the semifinal for the 10 meter platform at the World Championships will take place Friday, with the final set for Sunday.
In diving, the two highest and the two lowest scores from seven judges are dropped, and the three remaining scores are added and multiplied by the degree of difficulty.
In the 3 meter springboard preliminary, Woo ranked third with 457.70 points from six attempts. Then, in the semifinals, Woo was tied for seventh place after the first dive of 76.50 points. But he dug himself in a hole with a mediocre second dive that netted him just 49.30 points, which dropped him to 16th place and nearly seven points behind 12th.
The Korean bounced back with a superb third dive, a forward 4 1/2 somersault tuck worth 3.8 points in degree of difficulty, and scored 96.90 points to jump to a tie for sixth place. It was the highest score by anyone in the third round.
But the score of 50.75 points in the fourth dive dropped Woo to 12th, right on the cutoff line with two dives remaining.
Woo earned 67.50 points with his fifth dive but fell to 13th place, nearly five full points back of Colombian Daniel Restrepo, who occupied the 12th spot.
Restrepo got 68.45 points in his final round to give Woo some opening, and the Korean, needing to go over 420 points, put up 89.70 points in his final dive to get to 430.65 points. He ended up in 11th place, 2.65 points ahead of the 12th-place Michael Hixon.
Xie Siyi, the defending champion from China, won the semifinal 522.60 points. No one else scored over 500 points.