Diving to the Games

The 14th FINA Diving World Cup began in Athens yesterday, a competition that will serve as a qualifying round for the Olympics and a test for the venue that will host the sport during the August 13-29 Games. A total of 210 men and women divers from 50 countries are competing in the five-day event at the indoor swimming pool that is part of the Olympic Aquatic Center. The center is located in the main Olympic complex just north of the city center. Pre-Olympic test events are needed to assess venues and make changes if necessary before the Olympics. Divers will compete in four events: 3-meter springboard, 10-meter platform, 3-meter springboard synchronized, and 10-meter platform synchronized. Organizers said at least 34 individual men and women divers and four pairs in synchronized diving are expected to qualify for the Olympics at the World Cup. Although the indoor pool has been refurbished, construction crews have not finished other venues nearby. On Tuesday, the government said plans to build a roof for another part of the swimming facility may have to be scrapped because of technical problems. The Olympic Aquatic Center was to have a roof to improve the quality of television coverage and the government said a decision on whether to build it or not will be made in the next few days. (AP)