As the elite international divers and swimmers left Budapest following their respective World Championships earlier this month, a swathe of new diving talent arrived in the city for the World Masters Championships including a fine team of seven divers drawn from the Sheffield Diving and Maltby Diving Clubs. After a brilliant set of performances the team returned to South Yorkshire with 7 medals including 4 gold medals. Michael Barnes from Maltby won both the 1 metre and 3 metre gold medals and took silver in the platform competition. Sheffield’s Jane Cooke (ne. Smith) was also a multi-gold medallist, becoming champion on both the 1 metre and 3 metre springboards in the 40-44 years age group. This was former Olympic diver Jane’s return to competitive diving after a break of many years and she demonstrated her enduring quality by scoring highest of all the women in the championship. Like Michael, Jane also won the 3 metre competition by nearly 70 points scoring 60 points with a back 1½ somersault with 2½ twists. Nikki Walker produced an excellent performance to take the silver medal in the 35-39 years platform event and Michael Barnes increased his personal medal tally to 4 when he teamed up with Shaun Tesh of Sheffield to win the bronze medal in the 3 metre springboard synchro competition. Fine performances were also produced by Neeltje Sturman (Sheffield), Chris Long and Kev Davidson (both Maltby. Neeltje improved her personal best score in all three events in which she competed. Crucial to the success of the team was coach Russ Preece. For very many years Russ has been a linchpin of the South Yorkshire diving community, coaching weekly in both Sheffield and Maltby.
Sheffield’s long tradition of diving excellence is in good hands. Sharing Ponds Forge’s excellent facilities with Olympians and World Championship contenders there is a new crop of youngsters making headlines. At the National Skills Finals held at the Olympic pool in London, Archie Biggin won the 8/9 years gold medal and Lewis Neilson took gold in the competition for the 10 years age group. Both produced fine performances to win their events by around 30 points from divers drawn from clubs across the country and abroad. Alice Prescott was the bronze medallist in the 13 years event with Nikki Charlesworth in 4th place. Lucy Maltby also came 4th in the 8/9 years competition with Etta Dodsworth 6th. Phoebe Prescott was 4th in the 10 years competition with Charlotte Soanes 6th while in the 11 years event Ned Curtis came 5th and Harry Burton 6th.Very good contributions to the team performance also came from, Chloe Strutt, Jessica Ireland, Hannah Blake, Hannah Blackwell, Gabrielle Vickers, Jasmine Price, Samuel Roberts-Morris and Theo Johnson.
Crowning a special year of achievement, Ross Haslam performed brilliantly at the World Diving Championships in Budapest to come 10th in the 1 metre springboard event and 11th in a high-scoring 3 metre competition. Ross earned his place on the GB team by winning the British Championships in Edinburgh last month with a personal best score. In Budapest he raised his PB in the 3 metre event to 452 points with a superb sequence of dives. Ross performs twisting dives exceptionally well and scored his highest marks in both the 1 metre and 3 metre events with forward twisting dives that scored 73 and a massive 86 points respectively. The 3 metre event was won by Siyi Xie of China with Patrick Hausding of Germany taking silver and Ilya Zhakarov of Russia bronze. Ross said “I’ve had a fantastic time competing against such great divers here in Budapest and look forward to challenging them again in years to come.” Tom Daley led the medal success for GB winning silver in the team event with Grace Reid and then winning the 10 metre individual gold medal during which he was given 12 maximum scores.
One week after taking the team trophy in the National Age Group Championships, Sheffield’s divers are celebrating a superb international triumph, winning the team trophy in the Sofia Diving Cup in Bulgaria. Led by coaches Nigel Mills, James Milton and Sam Hydes, the team beat clubs from countries such as Russia, Turkey and Romania to take the overall team title. Maisie Bond continued her podium-topping excellence by winning gold medals on both 1 metre springboard and platform. Her best dive was a front 2½ somersault on platform that scored over 45 points. Millie Fairhurst-Marshall was also a double gold medallist in the 1 metre and 3 metre 16+ years competitions. Millie dominated her events, winning each by over 20 points. Double medal success was also achieved by Richelle Houlden and Jessica Vega. Richelle won gold in the 12/13 years platform event and silver on 3 metre springboard, while Jessica took gold and silver in the 14/15 years 1 metre and 3 metre springboard competitions respectively. Martha Clarke won the bronze medal in the 1 metre event. Isaac Trueman-Marsden and Joseph Pashley continued the ‘double-medal’ winning sequence. Isaac was the gold medallist in the 14/15 years platform event with Joseph taking silver. Isaac also won silver on the 3 metre springboard with Joseph taking the silver medal on the 1 metre springboard. Adam Charity won the bronze medal in the 3 metre competition. The team trophy was won by accumulating the results of every diver. Great contributions to this success were made by Amelia Scott, Poppy Bond, Sephora Ford, Jack Burrows, Harrison Hartley, James White, Arthur Turner-Rowe, Noah Prasanto and Declan Rogan.
Brilliant performances at the National Age Group Diving Championships saw Sheffield Diving win the overall team title with coach Nigel Mills taking the top coach award. Leading the medal haul was Maisie Bond who dominated the 10/11 years category by winning gold medals on the 1 metre springboard and platform. She also took the silver medal behind team mate Jenna Davison’s excellent gold medal winning performance on the 3 metre springboard. In the same age group for boys, Jack Burrows won a superb gold medal on platform. Gold was also the colour for Elliot Johnson who took the 1 metre springboard title in the 14/15 years age group. Declan Rogan has had an excellent season. He continued his fine series of results with two medals in the 12/13 years events. He won silver on 1 metre and bronze on platform. Sephora Ford was also a double medallist winning silver medals in the 14/15 years 3 metre springboard competition and pairing up with Charis Bell to also take silver in the 14+ years synchro event. Sheffield Diving had more synchro success with Noah Prasanto and James White winning bronze in the 10/13 years events and Amelia Scott and Poppy Bond also winning bronze in the equivalent event for girls. Arthur Turner-Rowe won Sheffield’s 13th medal when he took the bronze medal in the 12/13 years 3 metre springboard event. Strong performances were also produced by Theo Wellington, Oscar Wilcox, Nathaniel Greig, Finlay Morris-Evans, Bron Jenkinson, Callum Bell, Rebecca Vega, Grace Ally, Lily Godbole, Katie Garner, Daisy Fowler, Millie-Rose Hartley and Lydia Campbell.