Spendolini-Sirieix motivated for more in 2022

23 Jan 2022

A lot has happened for Andrea Spendolini-Sirieix since her last senior domestic competition in the UK. 

Back at the British Diving Championships in January 2020, Andrea produced a performance of class and composure to clinch the Women's 10m Platform title - her maiden senior gold medal. 

That eye-catching display was followed a month later by the Crystal Palace diver soaring to the same individual crown at the FINA Grand Prix in Rostock, Germany. That event saw Andrea hold her nerve in the final dive, a superb Backwards 2 1/2 Somersaults 1 1/2 Twists Pike (5253B) earning her an eye-catching score of 76.80 to take her overall tally to 330.50 - 1.15 points clear of the next athlete. 

A breakthrough 2020 was followed by a quite unforgettable 2021 for the 17-year-old. After narrowly missing out on the FINA Diving World Cup podium, Spendolini-Sirieix won Women's 10m Platform bronze and Mixed 10m Synchro silver - alongside Noah Williams - in the European Championships. That all preceded a maiden appearance on the Olympic stage, at Tokyo 2020, where Andrea's display belied any lack of experience as she qualified for the final and finished seventh overall in the world. 

Now, a few weeks out from the British National Diving Cup and the start of the 2022 season, how does she reflect on her recent experiences off the platforms?

Andrea Spendolini-Sirieix Tokyo 2020 chammy.jpg
Andrea at Tokyo 2020

"It actually feels like really long ago! I look back and, especially if I'm feeling down or if I'm putting too much pressure on myself, I remind myself that I was able to go to the Olympic Games. I'm so grateful to have gone through everything," she says. 

"It made me stronger mentally and physically, and I feel really pumped. I'm a lot more motivated and I'm ready for what's ahead."

The National Cup kickstarts a packed year of diving, both domestically and on the international stage. Next month's event will play a role in selections for May's World Aquatics Championships in Fukuoka, which precedes the Commonwealth Games in Birmingham (July-August) and Rome's European Aquatics Championships (August). 

Not that Spendolini-Sirieix will allow that busy calendar to put her off focusing on each competition at a time.  

"It's a busy year! I'm just trusting God. This year is going to bring a lot of competitions, hopefully I can qualify for them all," adds Andrea.

"I'm not going to put too much pressure on myself, because when I'm really happy and I'm having a lot of fun, everything goes well." 

First up is a return to the Plymouth Life Centre for the National Cup. Andrea was there in October for the Elite Junior Diving Championships In Memory of David Jenkins, where she partnered Eden Cheng to the Girls 19&U 10m Synchro title. 

It was also, of course, the venue for that senior British Championships success in 2020. 

Andrea Spendolini-Sirieix handstand
Spendolini-Sirieix competing at the 2020 British Diving Championships in Plymouth

"I actually didn't used to like Plymouth quite as much, but the more I have competed there, it has really grown on me," she adds.

"I'm really happy to be going there with the team I have, and I'm really excited to get the season started. It'll be great to see everyone, to talk to friends I haven't seen in a long time. I'm ready and excited."

As well fine-tuning her list for the National Cup in training, Andrea is also continuing her A Level studies, managing that workload around her commitments in the water. 

"I try to study extra as much as I can - but obviously I don't want to wear myself out, so if one day I'm more tired than others, I won't push myself to cram all my homework in at once.

"Plus, my school is really supportive and they give me extensions, so if I can't do it for the next day, they're really open and very helpful." 

Find out more about the British National Diving Cup (11th-13th February 2022) by visiting the official event page HERE