Sports

Knight-Wisdom looks to make amends in 3m springboard at FINA World Champs

BY SHERDON COWAN
Observer staff reporter
cowans@jamaicaobserver.com

Tuesday, July 16, 2019

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After registering a top 10 finish in the men's one-metre springboard dive, Jamaica's diving flagbearer Yona Knight-Wisdom is citing an improved performance when he takes to the platform for the three-metre competition.

Though not too displeased with his parade in the one-metre event, Knight-Wisdom, who is making his first appearance at the FINA World Championships, now in its 18th edition, has refocused his efforts for a possible podium finish in the three-metre event tomorrow.

The England-born diver, whose mother is a Barbadian and father Jamaican, recorded a score of 371.90 points in the finals of the 1m event, which represented a significant improvement on his preliminary round effort of 354.30 points at Nambu International Aquatics Centre in Gwangju, Korea on Friday.

China's Zongyuan Wang won the event with a score of 440.25 points, followed by Rommel Pacheco Marrufo (420.15) of Mexico and Jianfeng Peng (415.00), also of China.

“I had an awesome time in my first world Championships final, such a tough event alongside some incredible divers, but I'm very happy to be 10th in the World on 1m.

“It was my best performance of the season so far on 1m, as I got a season's best score — and that was with what I thought was some very harsh judging for everybody. So, I'm very content with the outcome,” Knight-Wisdom told the Jamaica Observer from his base in Gwangju yesterday.

“I didn't actually do anything particularly wrong; all of my dives were upright, which I'm happy with. There could've been a little more sharpness on my entries, but I only train my 1m dives maybe once a week, so it wasn't my focus. So now, I turn my attention to the 3m,” he added.

Having taken a few lessons from his one-metre performance, Knight-Wisdom stressed the significance of improvement going forward as he remains committed to the task of keeping the country's flag flying in the sport.

The 24-year-old, who skyrocketed from grassroots to prominence when he achieved the feat of being Jamaica's first-ever male diver to compete at the Commonwealth Games in 2014, has shown in the past that he possesses enough ability to rise to the occasion when it matters most.

For him, tomorrow's 3m event represents an opportunity to once again display that quality and garner more momentum for the remainder of the season.

At the 2014 Commonwealth Games in Glasgow Scotland, Knight-Wisdom, placed fifth and 11th in the one-metre and three-metre springboard events, respectively, but returned at the Gold Coast Commonwealth Games in Australia last year to finish a surprise fourth in the one-metre event and 10th in the three-metre dive.

The 6ft 3inches tall athlete is hoping to flip that around on this occasion by getting close to or even past his personal best of 392 points.

“The season so far has been very difficult. I've been working really hard to get myself into a good physical and mental position for this event, and that has meant a number of bad results over the season — but they were all lessons that I took forward for now and also into the future.

“My goal is to continue my consistent level of performance and hopefully that will be enough to get me through to the top 12, and we see what happens from there,” Knight-Wisdom shared.

“Overall, as I look ahead I will just be taking confidence and the feeling of being in my first World Champs final forward. Hopefully I will get another opportunity to compete in an international final soon, and I can take what I learned from this [championship] into it,” he ended.


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