The British Elite Junior Diving Championships, which was hosted by British Diving and Plymouth Active returned to the Life Centre, concluding its four-day event on Sunday, where the best young divers in each age group competed for the national title.
An achievement to even compete, athletes from across the nation and guests from Canada, Germany and Finland competed. Plymouth Diving was represented by a small but strong team of seven coached by Sally Freeman and Fito Gutierrez.
In group A boys (16-18) Plymouth were represented by Euan McCabe who claimed the gold medal after qualifying first in the preliminary round and a huge PB of 31 points. Teammate Archie Waines took the silver medal in the same event with a great performance which saw him move from 5th place in the qualifying round to second in the finals. He also competed on the 1m.
The boys were further represented in the B group with Oliver Heath and Theo Stevens. Theo reached the final on the 1m board, and finished in 4th place, just 3 points off bronze; a great achievement following being besieged by injuries and sickness which led to him almost being unable to compete. He also competed on the 3m. Team-mate Oliver had a fantastic competition on all three boards, making it through to the finals on each, and continuing to keep his nerve and gain a silver on both the 1m and 3m, and a bronze medal on platform.
For the girls, Amelie Underwood in group B had a great competition qualifying in first place in the preliminary rounds for both of her events and going on to win silver on 3m missing the gold by less than 2 points and bronze on the 1m.
Katie Martin and Maia Pearson represented Plymouth in group A girls. Katie qualified for the finals on 1m qualifying in 4th place and going on to compete a lovely set of dives and finish in 5th place. She narrowly missed out on the finals on 3m in 8th place.
Maia stepped up to her first Junior Elites Championships which provided a wealth of experience to build upon and whilst did not make the finals finished in 13th on 3m with some great dives and on 1m.
Katie and Maia also paired up for the synchro event on the 3m board. The pair managed to recover an unfortunate dive to finish in 4th place. Amelie Underwood and her partner Corin Burrows Mackley from Dive London Aquatics also competed and finished in 6th.
The boys synchro saw Oliver and Archie finishing in 5th position whilst Euan and Jake Passmore from City of Leeds Diving claimed another gold bringing the tally of medals for Plymouths team to 2 Golds, 4 Silvers and 2 Bronze medals.
Having coached them through the championships, coach Sally said “The team continues to go from strength to strength, bearing in mind these athletes lost 17 months of training in Plymouth through Covid, but they are still here and justifiably earnt their place in a British Junior final, which is fantastic. True resilience!”
Euan, Oliver, and Amelie have now to continue their training to prepare them for their next competition, representing Team GB in Dresden, Germany at the International Youth Diving meet from 27th April.