Knight-Wisdom, Alia set for big spalsh in Scotland
YONA Knight-Wisdom will be the first Jamaican diver to grace the Commonwealth Games in over 40 years, when he appears at the XX Commonwealth Games in Glasgow, Scotland July 23-August 3.
Knight-Wisdom, whose father is Jamaican and mother Barbadian, was named as a member of Jamaica’s seven-member swimming/diving team, which will be headlined by Olympian Alia Atkinson.
The 19-year-old Knight-Wisdom, who first sported the Jamaican colours in 2012, will compete in the one-metre and three-metre springboard event.
Meanwhile, world championships silver medallist Atkinson, who trains in the USA, has been in superb form on the American Grand Prix Circuit in breaststrokes this season, and is the country’s best shot at earning a medal.
She will be joined by Zara Bailey who is the national record-holder in the women’s 400-metre individual medley (IM); Timothy Wynter, who holds the national backstroke records; Dominic Walter, who holds the men’s freestyle distance records and newcomer Trudi-Ann Patrick.
Also named in the team is the 29-year-old, 50-metre freestyle record-holder, Jevon Atkinson (no relation to Alia) who is coming out of retirement to represent the country.
Martin Lyn, president of the Amateur Swimming Association of Jamaica (ASAJ), thinks very highly of the young diver and has high expectations for the team in general.
“Yona is diving very well, when he represented us at the Pan Am Games in Phoenix he placed fifth. Three of the divers who were ahead of him were from Venezuela, Mexico and the United States of America, and neither of those countries will be at the Games, so it looks very well for Yona and he has improved since then.
“In terms of swimming, Zara Bailey and Timothy Wynter are doing very well and we have Alia Atkinson who an Australian website has blogged about as the main contender to take away the medal from them in the breaststroke. So there is no question in my mind about medalling, it is just a matter of what medal we will get,” he told the Jamaica Observer at a press conference on Thursday.
Lyn also paid tribute to newcomer Trudi-Ann Patrick, who is currently representing the country for the first time at the ongoing Caribbean Island Swimming Championship (CISC), but the Commonwealth Games will see her debuting for the country at that level.
Vice-president of swimming, Allan Marsh who will travel along with the team as their manager, expressed some disappointment about not having overseas-based siblings Michelle and Keanan Dols, who were both selected for the team but are not able to attend.
“Despite this I still think we have a very good team led by Alia Atkinson, who is training very well and has done some very good times leading up to the Games. I am looking forward to some good performances and I am very excited about it,” he said.
The town of Corby will host the team, which will see the country for the first time having a camp ahead of the Games. This camp will assist in the team being even more prepared. Marsh made mention of Jevon Atkinson, who has represented the country at two Olympic Games, as the senior member of the team.