BIRMINGHAM, England — History-creating Jamaican diver Yona Knight-Wisdom believes he is nearing the peak of his career and is determined to turn international experience into medal success at the Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games.
Knight-Wisdom, Jamaica's first diving competitor at the Olympic Games and the Commonwealth Games, will be looking to not only continue his streak of advancing to the final in every competition he has taken part in at the Commonwealth Games, but is hoping to secure a spot on the medal podium in both the 1m and 3m springboard event.
"I feel like I'm coming towards my peak where I'm performing at my best, that's definitely showing in training. I'm doing some of the best dives I've ever done in training so it's just a case of trying to translate that into the competition, which is always a challenge no matter how experienced you are," Knight-Wisdom told the Jamaica Observer.
British-born Knight-Wisdom, who decided to represent Jamaica in 2012, made his Commonwealth Games debut two years later in Glasgow, Scotland, and made it to the final in both events with a fifth-place finish in the 1m and an 11th-place effort in the 3m.
In 2016 he competed at the Diving World Cup where he secured his spot in the 2016 Rio Olympics becoming the first male diver from the Caribbean to compete at the Olympics. He would also compete at the 2020 Games in Tokyo.
The Jamaican barely missed out on a medal at the 2018 Commonwealth Games, finishing fourth in the 1-m event while also making it to the final in the 3m.
With all that experience under his belt and impressive showings in training, Knight-Wisdom is confident that he is ready to add another chapter to the history books in Birmingham.
"Training has been going really well but I know that regardless of how well the training goes, it's going to be tough here but I'm ready for it. I've done all the preparation so I'm just looking forward to the opportunity to compete," said Knight-Wisdom.
"But I'm aiming for a medal in both events because I think I'm capable of that. There are some good divers in there, it's going to be tough competition so I've got to be on my game and I've got to perform to as high a level as possible, but I'm here for it."
The preliminary round of the men's 1m springboard competition will take place today at Sandwell Aquatics Centre starting at 1:05 pm (7:05 am Jamaica time) with the final set for 6:05 pm (12:05 pm).
The men's 3m springboard prelims and final will take place on Saturday.
In addition to the Jamaican supporters in Birmingham, one person who will be cheering on Knight-Wisdom is his mother, who has volunteered at the facility.
"This is the closest I'll ever get to a home Games probably, with Birmingham being just down the road from Leeds. My mom is down here volunteering at the pool and few of my friends are coming down to watch my events, which is going to be exciting because a few of them have never even watched me dive before so it's going to be good to have people there and it's going to be a special Games for me for sure … it would be good to put on a show for them," said Knight-Wisdom.
— Andre Lowe