World Masters Championships

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.