South Korean Divers Clinch Bronze at World Championships in QatarHwang Sun-woo Aims for Historic Medal at World Aquatics Championships in Doha

DOHA - South Korean divers Kim Su-ji and Yi Jae-gyeong have achieved a significant milestone by securing a bronze medal in the mixed 3-meter synchronized diving event at the World Aquatics Championships, held at the Hamad Aquatic Centre in Doha, Qatar.

According to Yonhap News Agency, Kim and Yi amassed a total of 285.03 points, placing them third in the competition on Saturday, local time. Australian duo Maddison Keeney and Domonic Bedggood clinched the gold medal with 300.93 points, while Italians Chiara Pellacani and Matteo Santoro took silver with 287.49 points.

This bronze marks Kim Su-ji's third career medal at the world championships, elevating her to become the second South Korean athlete to secure three medals at the World Aquatics Championships, alongside famed freestyle swimmer Park Tae-hwan. Notably, Kim and Park are the only South Korean athletes to have won multiple medals at a single world championship event. Park's achievements include a gold in the 400m freestyle and a bronze in the 200m freestyle at the 2007 championships.

Kim's journey to the podium began with her first world championship medal in the women's 1m springboard event held in Gwangju, South Korea, in 2019. She continued her success in Doha by winning bronze in the women's 3m springboard just a day before her synchronized diving victory with Yi. Their achievement is historic, as they are the first South Korean pair to win a synchronized medal at the world championships, improving upon their fourth-place finish in the same event at the previous year's championships in Fukuoka, Japan.

The duo's performance in Doha was marked by resilience and precision, particularly with their fourth dive, which garnered 64.80 points, propelling them into third place. Their final dive solidified their position on the podium, overcoming Britain's Ross Haslam and Grace Reid.

Kim and Yi's preparation for the world championships focused primarily on individual 3m springboard events, aiming for Olympic qualification. Despite the mixed 3m synchronized event not being included in the Olympics, their longstanding partnership, which began in elementary school and continued through high school and over a decade of training together, proved fruitful.

In a statement released by the South Korean PR firm All That Sports, Kim expressed gratitude for their shared training history, which she believes was instrumental in their success. Yi shared his joy, feeling elated by their achievement. Despite facing a knee injury last December, Kim's determination saw her winning two medals within 24 hours at the championships.

Both divers have qualified for the upcoming Paris Olympics, with Kim preparing for her third Olympic appearance and Yi set to make his debut. They are focused on refining their techniques and increasing the difficulty of their programs in anticipation of the Games.

DOHA — South Korean swimmer Hwang Sun-woo is set to commence his quest for an unprecedented medal at the World Aquatics Championships this week in Qatar, eyeing a historic achievement for his country. Hwang is scheduled to participate in the men's 200-meter freestyle heats on Monday at the championships held in Doha, with the heats kicking off at 9:30 a.m. local time, which corresponds to 3:30 p.m. in South Korea.

According to Yonhap News Agency, the top 16 swimmers from the heats will advance to the semifinals on Monday evening in Doha, or early Tuesday morning in Seoul. The finalists, comprising the top eight swimmers, will then compete for medals in the final event slated for Tuesday evening local time, or early Wednesday morning in Seoul.

Hwang is on the verge of becoming the first South Korean swimmer to win medals at three consecutive world championships, a feat that has not yet been accomplished by any other swimmer from his country. He previously secured a silver medal in the 200m freestyle at the 2022 World Championships in Budapest and added a bronze in the same event at the championships in Fukuoka, Japan, last summer.

With the absence of the reigning gold and silver medalists in the 200m freestyle, Britain's Matthew Richards and Tom Dean, who have chosen to focus on other events, Hwang's path to the top of the podium appears less obstructed. Notably, Hwang holds the fastest entry time among all competitors in the 200m freestyle, with a national record of 1:44.40 set at the Asian Games in Hangzhou, China, in September. This time positions him ahead of Germany's Lukas Martens, who has the second-fastest entry time of 1:44.79.

Hwang's participation in Doha will not be limited to the 200m freestyle; he is also set to compete in the 100m freestyle, 4x200m freestyle relay, and the 4x100m medley relay. Following a four-week training camp in Australia, Hwang expressed a mix of surprise and determination regarding the absence of Richards and Dean, acknowledging the increased pressure but affirming his readiness to compete for the gold medal.

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