Diving: Exposure for experience

Her ultimate goal is to make it to the Olympics.

National diver Freida Lim Shen-Yan, a double medallist at June's South-east Asia (SEA) Games, hopes that competing in international meets like the Fina Grand Prix this weekend will help her achieve her target one day.

The 17-year-old (right) is targeting only a personal best in the women's 10m platform and women's 10m platform synchronised events but, more importantly, she wants to gain more experience competing against some of the world's best divers.

"When I first started competing in these overseas competitions, I was super nervous and I always thought, 'Oh, I'm competing against world-class divers. I'll never be able to reach their standard'," she said.

"But, as I compete more and more, I guess it'll be easier to dream or think that if I train hard enough, maybe I will be able to be like them and reach their standards."

Fellow national diver, Ashlee Tan Yi Xuan, agreed on the importance of getting more exposure at the international level.

She sees the international competitions as opportunities to observe and learn from the world-beaters and hopes to be as confident as them one day.

The 15-year-old admitted that she felt nervous when she first competed against more illustrious names in the diving scene.

But, after competing in previous stops in Canada and Puerto Rico, she is feeling confident going into the Singapore leg at the OCBC Aquatic Centre this weekend.

Her main focus is on bettering her personal bests in the 3m individual springboard and her 3m synchronised platform events with partner Fong Kay Yian, but she also wants to make a statement with some good performances.

"Hopefully, we can let the other countries know that Singapore have a diving team too," she quipped.

The Republic's divers are currently training under national assistant coach Wan Jun after former national coach Xu Jie left in July.

Team manager Damien Ler said that the Singapore Swimming Association is not in a hurry to appoint the new coach.

He said: "We have received a number of applications from strong candidates. We are currently reviewing the applications and we hope to have a decision for the new diving coach soon.

"We are not rushing this process as we would like to appoint someone who is the right fit and will be able to bring diving in Singapore to the next level."

Wan said that the Fina Grand Prix is a great opportunity for the divers to compete against some of the world's best.

"Watching world-class diving in action is a great experience, and international meets like this are the best learning opportunities for our divers," he said.

"I hope our divers get inspired and see that they have the potential to execute the same dives."

This article was first published on October 15, 2015.
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