British team European Junior Diving Champs 2021

British youngsters shine at European Junior Diving Championships

28 Jun 2021

Britain's young divers are returning from the European Junior Championships with an eye-catching nine-medal haul after a successful competition in Rijeka, Croatia. 

In what was a first genuine, in-person event in 18 months for the 12 Brits involved, the up-and-coming contingent showed impressive composure across the programme, with Maisie Bond and Tyler Humphreys producing a couple of the standout performances to claim a gold medal apiece. 

Bond (City of Sheffield) won the Girls B 10m Platform title, finishing comfortably clear of her rivals in the preliminaries and then backing it up in the final, while Humphreys (Dive London) built on his prelims display by a massive 61 points to claim Boys A 1m Springboard victory.

There was a trio of silvers for Britain across all three heights of board. Leon Baker (Southampton) finished second in the Boys B 3m Springboard contest, Euan McCabe (Plymouth) and Ben Cutmore (Dive London) teamed up to good effect in the Boys A/B 10m Synchro, and Tilly Brown (Southampton) was a mere five points off gold in the Girls B 1m Springboard final.

Brown had a busy meet, the Southampton Diving Academy athlete also picking up bronze in the Girls B 3m Springboard - before placing fifth, alongside Evie Smith, in the 3m Synchro later that day. That was one of four bronze medals, as Amy Rollinson (Luton Diving Club) reached the podium in the Girls A 1m Springboard, McCabe placed third in the Boys B 10m Platform and the duo of Baker and Humphries combined for a medal in the Boys A/B 3m Synchro.

Cameron Gammage, Hannah Newbrook, Evie Smith, Hugo Thomas and Josie Zillig completed the British team that competed across the week and ended third in the medal table.

British Diving Talent and Development Manager Julian Bellan was part of the staff team out in Croatia - and he knows the performances of the young divers are highly encouraging after such a disruptive 18 months. 

"We came into this competition with absolutely no reference points - all of these young athletes had gone 18 months with anyout any competition apart from one virtual event," he said.

"We also didn't know how other countries had been impacted in that time in terms of training, and after talking to other coaches, it became clear that many had not had their training affected in the same way. With all that being considered, to come away with nine medals and being so close in a lot of other events, we are so proud of them. 

"Some of them lost six or seven months of pool training last year, and nine of these divers didn't start pool training again this year until April, so for so many of them to get such great results is fantastic.

"We also have to give thanks to the help from SportsAid and their Backing the Best programme, as well as Birmingham 2022, who have helped with additional support around preparations for these athletes throughout the past year-and-a-half."