Each nation is only permitted two athletes in each diving event at the Olympics, and to be selected for the Chinese team, in any event, takes some doing, especially being picked ahead of the defending champion. Yang Jian enters as the favourite, picked ahead of Rio gold medallist, Chen Aisen, thanks to the world title he won in 2019 with a phenomenal score of 598.65. This followed his win at the Asian Games in 2018 and a bronze at the 2017 World Championships.
He was a bit of a latecomer to the top table as, at 27, this is his first Olympics, and he has only been on the scene for around five years, but the man nicknamed the ‘Difficulty King’ is exactly that, with the scores he produces only being possible by performing the toughest dive routines and executing them brilliantly.
China is the undisputed global force in the diving world and Yang is their top man in this category. The country has medalled in the men’s 10m platform at every Olympics dating back to 1984, and Yang is favourite to take gold at 8/11.