Three divers from Plymouth Diving and coach Fito Gutierrez have just spent the last week in Dresden, Germany representing GBR at the 10th Youth International Meet.
Euan McCabe is an experienced international diver and first competed at this meet back in 2019. Bravely finishing his round of dives in the boys group A final with a reverse three and a half somersaults paid off and secured the silver medal on the 3m springboard. Fellow team mate Leon Baker from Southampton Diving Academy joined him on the podium to claim the bronze. Both of them put in a sterling performance to achieve a score of over five hundred points.
Group B divers Amelie Underwood and Ollie Heath both made their debut for GBR at this competition. Having previously dived for England last year, Amelie has already experienced this level of competition. Training at an elite level takes its toll on the body and unfortunately Amelie has recently been battling against injury. Despite this, Amelie qualified for both springboard finals. She finished sixth on 1m and ninth on 3m and was the highest placed GBR diver in her age category on both boards.
Ollie first became interested in diving at the age of four after watching the 2012 Olympics. Starting out in the Mighty Mini Squad when he progressed to the Elite Development Squad the gymnastic lessons were shelved due to his commitment to diving. In November 2019 after a gruelling selection process Ollie made the grade to join the Swim England Z Team. Breaking his foot on the 1m springboard in February 2020 followed by lockdown meant that this talented team of divers did not experience the full benefit of this achievement. Now part of the Elite National Squad, Ollie has a busy schedule juggling his studies at Plymouth College with training at the Life Centre where he is coached by Sally Freeman.
So far, this season of diving has been particularly fruitful for Ollie. Winning an individual medal on every board at the Armada Cup and British Junior Elites his performances did not go unnoticed by the GBR selection team.
At Dresden the 3m preliminary round was going particularly well for Ollie and he was lying in fifth place until the final dive. Over twisting on his back one and a half somersaults with two and a half twists cost him several points. Unperturbed and determined to perform well in the final he clawed back points to finish in fifth place. Ollie put his heart and soul into the 1m board to finish fourth in the final. Team mate Oscar Kane from Dive London Aquatics Club was outstanding in both of the springboard events to win two golds for GBR.
Plymouth Diving is steadily growing thanks to the inspirational results achieved by our divers. Their success is down to raw talent nurtured by the coaches, the facilities at the Life Centre, Plymouth Active Leisure and financial support from Pilkington Estates.