By Georgia Grimond, Senior Contributing Reporter
RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL – The Maria Lenk Aquatics Centre is being put through its paces this week as it hosts the FINA Diving World Cup. At the venue, which is part of the main Olympic site in Barra da Tijuca, 236 divers from around the world are making a splash in the event which is also serving as both an Olympic qualifying competition and an Aquece Rio test event.
Diving began on Saturday February 19th and will continue through to Wednesday February 24th, with a selection of individual and synchronized events for both men and women and from different platform heights (3 and 10 meters). Members of the public are able to buy tickets for R$30 and have been flocking to the venue to watch the athletes in action.
“This event will really be a realistic simulation for the Games,” Rio 2016 competition services manager Eduardo Falcão told the Rio 2016 website. With so many competitors and spectators it will require the venue, officials and staff to treat the event like the real thing. As well as employees from 36 departments, 462 volunteers will be working throughout the week.
“We can confirm that 98 percent of the divers that will compete at the Games are in Rio for the test event,” added André Siqueira, Rio 2016’s diving competition manager. They will be aiming to secure themselves one of the 88 Olympics spots that are still available.
On Sunday night, British diving star Tom Daley and his a new partner Dan Goodfellow won bronze in the men’s 10 meter platform synchro ensuring them a place in the Summer Games. American David Boudia, who won individual gold at London 2012, will be out to defend his position, and the Chinese, who have a history of success in the sport, are bringing decorated divers Wu Minxia, Chen Roulin, Qin Kai and Qiu Bo to the pool.
Hot sun and intermittent thunderstorms have affected parts of the competition. The Maria Lenk center is open air, which leaves divers vulnerable to the changeable weather.
To buy tickets to the event, please go to the Aquece Rio website.