Tomoaki TASAKA, FINA Press Correspondent in Japan

The second leg of the FINA/CNSG Diving World Series 2018 is set to begin in Fuji city, Japan, for 3 days from March 15-17. This is the first time ever Japan is hosting a meet of the World Series.

Previous to the competition start, the Organising Committee officially opened the festivities on Wednesday March 14 with a press conference in Shizuoka Prefectural Fuji Swimming Pools.

During the conference, TDC member and Diving World Series Manager Melanie Beck made a speech announcing the start:

"I would like to thank the Fuji authorities for providing us with a lovely city, very friendly people who are doing everything to make us stay and also Japan Swimming Federation for making possible for this happiest event in Fuji," she said.

Melissa Wu (AUS), Shi Tingmao (CHN), Thomas Daley (GBR), Pandelela Pamg (MAS), Kazuki Murakami (JPN), Minami Itahashi (JPN) and Takuma Hagita (JPN) were also present at this official press conference.

China's Shi, who took gold in the women's 3m springboard last weekend in Beijing (CHN), told reporters about her ambitions for this second leg:

"This is my first time in Fuji also the first time in Japan. I like to be here. I like Mt. Fuji. I think I have good condition when I see the mountain. I will do my best to compete to make good base for the Tokyo Olympic Games," she said.

Great Britain's Daley, who claimed the bronze in the men's 10m synchro platform in Beijing, told the journalists in the room:

"Now I am speaking on behalf of all the divers. We're so excited to be in a new location for the World Series because we travel to a lot of different countries around the world, but coming to Japan only 2 years away from the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games is very exciting because it's one of the first competitions. I am just very excited to get going tomorrow," he said.

Japan 's Itahashi who finished 8th in the 10m platform of the Rio Olympics in 2016 said that this is her second participaton at the FINA Diving World Series:

"Since this event in Fuji is a big international Diving meet, I will do my best to make it possible for Japanese people to get to know more about the sport so that I can at least get to the top athletes' ranking," she said.

The complete start list is available here

The competition's schedule in Fuji is as follows.

Day1 / 15 March
Session 1
10m Platform Synchro Women Final
10m Platform Synchro Men Final
Session 2
3m Springboard Synchro Women Final
3m Springboard Synchro Men Final

Day 2 / 16 March
Session 1
10m Platform Women Semi Final
3m Springboard Men Semi Final
Session 2
10m Platform Women Final
3m Springboard Men Final
10m Platform Mixed Synchro Final

Day 3 / 17 March
Session 1
3m Springboard Women Semi Final
10m Platform Men Semi Final
Session 2
3m Springboard Women Final
10m Platform Men Final
3m Springboard Mixed Synchro Final