The best of Britain’s next generation showed their true potential throughout the competition at the British Junior Elite Diving Championships in Southend.
Following on from an outstanding opening two days of competition at the Southend Leisure and Tennis Centre, a further 12 junior titles were in contention across Friday and Saturday of the Easter weekend – with guest divers from Canada, Sweden, Finland, France and the USA adding to the competition mix.
Luton Diving’s Amy Rollinson added two individual victories from the boards to complete a hat-trick of golds across the week. The first of which was achieved in the Girls A 1m Springboard as she took the top step of the podium ahead of synchro partner Desharne Bent-Ashmeil (Dive London), before then closing out her championships with a composed Back 2 ½ Somersault Pike (205B) for 66.00 points to seal success in the Girls A 3m Springboard.
In the Boys C age category Sebastian Willcox (City of Sheffield Diving) matched that feat as he backed up his lead in the prelims to claim the 3m springboard honours, before championing a clean sweep for City of Sheffield from the 1m with a total of 308.45 points ahead of Robbie Wood (299.65) and Simeon Greig (270.95).
Elsewhere Juliette John of Crystal Palace Diving showed her versatility across the heights in becoming Girls C champion from the Platform, in addition to the 3m Springboard individual - this following her two gold’s already from the 3m synchro and 1m Springboard across the opening two days.
One of the closest contests of the championships came in the Girls B Platform, with the top two Maisie Bond (City of Sheffield Diving) and Jaeda Sharman (City of Leeds Diving) separated by a mere 2.05 points. Bonds best coming in the penultimate round of dives as she scored 54.00 points with her Inward 1½ Somersaults Pike (403B) to edge the contest, whilst Corin Burrows Mackley (Dive London) completed the podium in bronze position.
The Boys A Platform was the closing final of the meet and Robbie Lee (Southampton Diving Academy) produced a scintillating series of five dives - capped by an outstanding Inward 3 ½ Somersaults (407C) which one judge saw worthy of a 10 – to roar to victory on 553.25 points. Meanwhile Jorden Fisher-Eames (Luton Diving) was triumphant in the Boys B Platform, having moved up age-groups since his title last October.
Among the other winners from the final two days of competition saw Leon Baker (Southampton Diving Academy) take the Boys A 1m Springboard title, whilst Amelie Underwood (Plymouth Diving) added gold in the Girls B 3m Springboard to her 1m success, with Southend Diving’s Todd Geggus winning the Boys B equivalent in his home pool, showing particularly impressive form on his Reverse 2½ Somersaults Tuck (305C) for 71.40 points.
The three age-group categories at the Elite Junior event are: Group C - 13 years and under in 2022; Group B - 14-15 years old in 2022; Group A - 16-18 years old in 2022.