South Korea’s first-ever world championship medalist, Kim Soo-ji (25-Ulsan Metropolitan City Hall), tied for third place in the women’s 3-meter springboard semifinals at the World Aquatics Championships to advance to the final and qualify for the Paris Olympics.

Kim scored a total of 302.10 points in the first through fifth periods to finish third out of 18 in the women’s 3-meter springboard semifinals at the 2024 World Aquatics Championships at Hamad Aquatic Center in Doha, Qatar, on Monday.

After qualifying for the semifinals the day before with a total of 257.55 points to finish 15th out of 53 competitors, Kim improved her score and position in the semifinals to secure her ticket to the 12-place final.

In the final on Tuesday morning, Kim will go for her second career World Championships medal. Kim finished third in the women’s 1-meter springboard at the 2019 Gwangju Games, becoming the first South Korean dive to qualify for the World Championships.

However, she failed to reach the final of the 3-meter springboard event, which is an ‘Olympic program’, in Budapest in 2022 (16th) and Fukuoka in 2023 (16th). In Doha, she qualified for the final in third place.

With the final, Kim qualified for the Paris Olympics. In diving, qualification for Paris is allocated to National Olympic Committees (NOCs) rather than individual athletes.

The International Swimming Federation has decided to allocate the individual diving berths for the Paris Olympics as follows: 12 berths for the Fukuoka 2023 World Championships, up to five berths for each continental championship, and 12 berths for the Doha 2024 World Championships.

Kim Soo-ji was ranked so high that she earned South Korea one ticket to Paris. The Korean Swimming Federation is expected to award Kim the Olympic berth. Despite suffering a torn cartilage in her left knee in December last year, Kim prepared faithfully for this meet in order to qualify for Paris.

After finishing 15th in the qualifying round, which is reserved for the top 18 athletes, Kim struggled to qualify for the semifinals, but she performed well in the semifinals to finish third and earn a medal in the final. The final will be held at the same location on Tuesday at 0:30 am.

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