With 200 days to go to the World Aquatics Championships, we thought it was time to dive into the Fukuoka Prefectural Pool – the diving venue for next summer’s big show. Joining us is a standout athlete in the sport, Rikuto Tamai of Japan.
Just 15 years old, Rikuto Tamai has already made quite an impression on the global diving scene. The steely determination and diving style of Rikuto was on full display during the 10m Platform at the 19th FINA World Championships Budapest 2022. Taking on the dominant Chinese platform duo of Jian Yang and Hao Yang, Tamai put on one of his best performances as the Tokyo 2020 Olympian brought the silver medal back to Japan. With the World Aquatics Championships returning to Japan next summer, can Rikuto take one final step up the podium while competing on home soil?
Congratulations on winning the silver medal at the 19th FINA World Championships Budapest 2022. How was competing in the Hungarian capital last summer, looking back at your dives today?
For me, it was truly a memorable championship, particularly because I was able to perform at my best. From the prelims, semifinals, to the finals, I was able to gradually level up my performance over these three different stages which I personally feel allowed me to perform well at the finals.
Rikuto, what do you see as the charm of diving?
I think the charm of diving is that the iconic technique of entering the water without making a splash is unique to each diver, and we would be delighted if you could look for those differences the next time you watch a diving event.
What’s your favourite dive?
My best move is the Reverse 2½ Somersault 2½ Twists pike (Dive 5255B) which is after making a reverse somersault while facing away from the pool, you twist two and half times after the first spin to get into the forward position, and afterwards, make one and a half spins to do a total of 2½ somersaults and 2½ twists.
Lastly, please tell us about your thoughts and aspirations as you look to the upcoming World Aquatics Championships?
Since I was able to finish in 2nd place in this year’s FINA World Championships in Budapest, I would like to give it my all in Fukuoka, and win the gold medal. Please support me at the upcoming World Aquatics Championships.