Russian Diving Federation Receives Formal Invitation to Participate in 2023 Asian Games

The Asian Swimming Federation has officially invited Russia to participate in diving events at the 2023 Asian Games, Russia’s state media company TASS reported this week.

This is the first formal invitation for Russian athletes to compete in Asia, a departure from their typical participation in European events, after Asian sports officials hinted that both Russia and Belarus could compete in Asian competitions.

Russia was banned from competition by most global sports governing bodies over the country’s invasion of Ukraine in February 2022. This ban does not necessarily apply to national or regional championships – where eligibility is left to the event organizers. Most European federations, where there are concerns both about Russian involvement alongside Ukraine and about the war spilling over into Europe, have also blocked Russia from participating.

Not only has this excluded Russia from the prestige of continental championship events, it has also kept it out of the early stages of Olympic qualification, which has already begun in some sports.

“The Asian Swimming Federation sent us an official letter with a proposal to apply to participate in the Asian Games, which will be held from September 23 to October 8 in the Chinese city of Hangzhou,” said Stanislav Druzhinin, President of the Russian Diving Federation. called. “Even if these competitions do not qualify for the Olympics, we are interested in participating, our athletes need practice.

“Soon we will send our application to the Asian Federation.”

Countries can begin to earn quota spots for diving at the Paris 2024 Olympics at the 2023 World Aquatics Championships, where the top 12 competitors in each individual event will earn a spot for their country. After that, each continent awards a certain number of spots based on a continental qualifying tournament.

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For Asia, this tournament is the Asian Diving Cup 2023, the dates of which have not yet been determined. The winners of each event at each continental qualifier will receive a quota spot for their country.

If places remain below the cap of 136 jumpers (men and women combined), they will be awarded based on the results of the 2024 World Championships.

Russia’s status for the first qualifier at the 2023 World Aquatics Championships remains uncertain – World Aquatics has declined to comment on its eligibility.

If they then compete in the Asian Diving Cup and win events, they will leave some kind of limbo on whether the IOC will accept the results of the event.

Divers from the Russian Olympic Committee have won a medal at the Tokyo 2020 Summer Olympics. China is the country’s dominant diving force, winning the max 12 medals and 7 out of 8 gold medals in Tokyo. However, all of their quota spots will likely be earned at the Worlds this summer.

That would see Russia do battle with countries like Japan, Malaysia and South Korea, the only other Asian countries that have received 2021 Olympic Diving bids for these Asian Cup slots.

Japan’s highest individual finish in Tokyo was Rikuto Tamai, who finished 7th in the men’s 10m. They also had a few couples who placed 5th in synchronized events (which only allow one qualifier per country).

South Korea had a diver Woo Ha Ram, finish as high as 4th place on 3 meter men. Singapore had a diver Dhabitah Sabri only, finish 4th in the women’s 3m springboard at the Tokyo Olympics. These are the countries likely to be hit the hardest if Russia is allowed to participate

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There have been no reports of Belarus being officially invited to the Asian Games in diving or any other sport. Unlike Belarus, Russia lays a geographical claim on Asia: 75% of Russia’s territory is in Asia, although 75% of its population lives in Europe.

The 2023 Asian Games, postponed due to the 2022 COVID-19 pandemic, are scheduled for September 23 to October 8 in Hangzhou, China.

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