Divers on form at home and abroad

15 Apr 2019

It was a busy weekend for diving across the world, with a British team competing in the third leg of the FINA Diving Grand Prix over in America, whilst the British Elite Junior Diving Championships served up some great action closer to home in Sheffield.

Starting stateside in the Californian city of Mission Viejo, the British team were in great form, winning a number of medals across the four days of competition. Exceling in the synchronised events, there were a pair of gold medals, starting off with Emily Martin and Phoebe Banks securing top spot in the Women’s 10m Synchro; their score of 300.36 points saw them run out clear winners. Also on Saturday Matthew Dixon turned in a strong performance, again from the platform, as he bagged silver with a score of 471.10 points.

Sunday saw the remainder of the finals take place, with Yorkshire pairing of Anthony Harding and Jordon Houlden taking top billing as they won the Men’s 10m Synchro in a closely fought competition. Nailing their final dive, a Forward 4 ½ Somersault Tuck (109C), the duo ended the competition with a score of 384.93, that last dive giving them victory by just two points.

The final medal of the weekend came courtesy of Edinburgh’s James Heatly, who was in great form in the outdoor surroundings. Delivering a great score of 416.65, the Commonwealth Games medallist took bronze in the Men’s 3m Springboard, to cap off a great weekend for the team. Just falling short of a medal was Heatly’s Edinburgh teammate Gemma Mcarthur who put in a solid performance for fourth in the Women’s 10m Platform.

Back in the UK, Sheffield’s Ponds Forge International Sports Centre played host to the British Elite Junior Diving Championships that saw four days of the UK’s rising talent competing for domestic titles.

Edinburgh Diving’s Lucas Thomson claimed the victory in the Boy’s A Platform event with a stunning 522.05 points, Aidan Heslop of Plymouth Diving clinching silver, whilst bronze went to Ben Cutmore of Dive London.

Emily Bearpark of Leeds Diving topped the podium for gold in the Girl’s A 3m Springboard, finally winning gold at her final attempt ahead of Clara Kerr of Aberdeen Diving Club. Rounding off the medal trio was Holly Waxman, also of Leeds Diving.

Crystal Palace diver Andrea Spendolini-Sirieix finished top of the pile in the Girl’s B Platform event with a total of 340.9, more than 15 points ahead of the next diver. It was her second title of the weekend after she sealed gold in the Women’s Platform Synchro alongside Josie Zillig.

Southampton Diving Academy’s Nathan Bull led the way in the Boy’s B 3m Springboard after a consistent set of dives, his final score of 416.80 guaranteed the elite junior diving title for 2019.

It was a home pool win for Sheffield Diving’s Maisie Bond as she clocked 284.20 in the Girl’s C 1m Springboard and over in the Boy’s event it was a score of 301.75 that meant Todd Geggus returned to Southend with the gold medal.

The 2019 event saw a record 367 entries, which is a significant increase on previous years and shows that British diving is on the up at all levels.

Full results from the British Elite Junior Diving Championships can be found here

Full results from the FINA Diving Grand Prix can be found here