Written by Jong Ching Yee

Who is Jonathan Chan?

Not from table tennis or swimming, but he is a Singaporean diver who has qualified for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics. This week, 22-year-old Jonathan Chan qualified for the Olympics after winning the 8th Asian Diving Cup in Kuala Lumpur. To date, his qualification for the Olympics is the first time that a Singaporean diver will participate in the games. 

The second-year student from Singapore University of Technology and Design had intentionally avoided looking at the scoreboard after each of his dives because he wanted to concentrate on his next dive. After completing all six dives, he was surprised that he had won the competition with a score of 407.90.  

His superb performance meant that he became the only diver to surpass 400 points in the competition as the silver medalist, Wang Zewei, received a score of 393.45. 


Singapore’s performance in the Olympics

At the 2016 Rio Olympics, Joseph Schooling made history by winning Singapore’s first Olympic Gold medal in swimming. However, his recent performances in the Fina World Cup have been disappointing as he finished the competition without winning a single medal

Singapore has been promoting more local-born sporting talents in recent years and Chan’s qualification can serve as an inspiration to others. Manager of Singapore’s diving team Damien Ler spoke about the importance of Chan’s achievement. He said, “We hope this breakthrough will inspire our younger divers… Everyone thought that we were below that (calibre), but now, we have someone who qualified at a continental competition.”

The Tokyo Olympics will be held next year from 24 July to 9 August. Chan hopes that more team-mates will join him in the games and noted, “I hope that I will be the first of many more divers to qualify and that this will inspire my teammates to work towards qualification so that we can go to Tokyo together.”

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