Olga Kamardina, FINA correspondent in Ukraine

Top 18-and-under divers have descended on the Ukrainian capital, hot ready to vie for the medals of the 22nd FINA World Junior Diving Championships.

The 8-day meet will be held at the famous Sport Centre LIKO, Ukraine National team home and Headquarters of the Ukrainian Diving Federation. It already played host to a number of major aquatic events, including 4 editions of the Ukrainian Open Diving Cup and National Championships, and a highly successful European Diving Championships, which took place in June, 2017.

According to organisers, a total of 42 teams, representing strong and rising diving nations have been entered for this year’s Junior Worlds. Approximately 230 divers will be in attendance competing for the 17 titles. Along with the host Ukraine, other confirmed top teams include: China, Australia, Great Britain, Malaysia, USA, Germany, Russia, Mexico and Canada.

According to Anna Arnautova of Ukraine, everything is well ready for the start, and the crowd is building anticipation to see the world’s elite junior divers.

“We are happy, that FINA Junior World Diving Championships will be staged in Kyiv, - says silver medalist of 2018 European Junior Diving Championships. – It is a great honor, and, like European Diving Championships, which staged in 2017, this grand international event will be a help to promote aquatics in our country, and on the other hand, it will definitely promote our beautiful host city worldwide. A lot of divers representing various nations will be a part of the contest, and I am sure, that they will bring home very warm reminiscences of their time in Kyiv”.

Sofiya Lyskun was a part of the World Junior Championships in Kazan, and won there one silver medal in the Girls B platform. The diver, entering the group “A” as she celebrated her 16th B-day on 7 February, is determined to improve her winning story on home soil, and she is sure of the best achievements ahead of her.

“2018 diving season is in the wings, and I already got one important achievement, which was silver of the Diving World Cup-2018. - We are looking forward to start competing at home. In Ukraine we say, that at home even the walls help. It speaks of the home crowd support, of the swimming-pool, where you train daily. Of course, there is a good share of responsibility, because diving at home means you are highly anticipated to show your best. We believe, there will be a lot of good divers from all around the world, and Chinese are very very strong. They have the best diving lists and their execution is fantastic”.

The previous 21st edition of the FINA World Junior Diving Championships, took place in Kazan, Russia featuring 15 events. In 2016, like in 2014, Chinese divers topped the overall with 7 gold, 4 silver and 3 bronze medals. Hosts placed second with 3 gold, 3 silver and 4 bronze medals. The British team took home 2 gold, 1 silver and 2 bronze medals. Germany, USA, Mexico, Australia, Ukraine, Colombia, Canada and Japan completed the list of National Federations with awarded divers in Kazan.

Six of the 2016 winners will be aboard to defend their respective titles in Kyiv: Chinese rookie Lian Junjie in the Boys platform, Ruslan Ternovoy of Russia in the Boys B 3m springboard, German Louis Massenberg and Elena Wassen of Germany, victorious in A/B 3m synchronised springboard and Girls A platform respectively, Maria Coburn of the USA in the Girls 1m springboard, and British Noah Williams in the Mixed team event.

As usual, world junior divers will be competing in two age categories: Group A (16-18 years old) and Group B (14-15 years old). “A” - for the divers aged 16 to 18, and “B” – for teenagers, which are but 14 and 15 years old. There are 17 events are on the list, including 1m and 3m springboard, 5m – 7.5m - 10m platform for the competitors in the group A and B, as well as 3m springboard synchro event mixing A and B, and the mixed team event, which kicks off the competition program tomorrow, on 22 July, 2018. Competition Day 1 of the 22nd FINA World Junior Diving Championships will also feature the Opening Ceremony and an impressive Athletes Parade.

Footnote. The first ever edition of the FINA World Junior Diving Championships was organised in 1977, and since then is held every two years, bringing together young prospects from the strongest nations in the sport to compete at world level. With the early look at 2020 Tokyo rosters in mind, the Kyiv’s edition becomes very special. Playing as dress rehearsal, it will at the same time come as a FINA Qualification Tournament for the Diving Youth Olympic Games-2018, scheduled on October. The Argentina passes will be contested in 6 events: 3m springboard and 10m platform for the Group A competitors, both boys and girls, and mixed team events in 3m springboard and 10m platform. The top nine finishers will obtain a quota place for their respective NOC.

Competition schedule

Day 1 – 22 July, 2018

16:00 Opening Ceremony

17:00 Mixed team event final

Day 2 – 23 July, 2018

09:00 Boys A 3m springboard preliminary

14:00 Girls B 1m springboard preliminary

17:00 Boys A 3m springboard final

18:15 Girls B 1m springboard final

Day 3 – 24 July, 2018

09:00 Girls A 1m springboard preliminary

13:00 Girls B platform preliminary

15:30 Girls A 1m springboard final

17:00 Girls B platform final

18:00 Boys A/B 3m synchro springboard final

Day 4 – 25 July, 2018

09:00 Boys B 1m springboard preliminary

13:00 Girls A 3m springboard preliminary

17:00 Boys B 1m springboard final

18:00 Girls A 3m springboard final

Day 5 – 26 July, 2018

09:00 Boys A 1m springboard preliminary

13:15 Boys B platform preliminary

16:15 Girls A/B platform synchro final

17:30 Boys A 1m springboard final

18:45 Boys B platform final

Day 6 – 27 July, 2018

09:00 Boys B 3m springboard preliminary

13:00 Girls A platform preliminary

16:30 Boys B 3m springboard final

18:00 Girls A platform final

Day 7 – 28 July, 2018

09:00 Girls B 3m springboard preliminary

16:30 Boys A/B platform synchro final

18:00 Girls B 3m springboard final

Day 8 – 29 July, 2018

09:00 Boys A platform preliminary

16:30 Girls A/B 3m synchro springboard final

18:00 Boys A platform final