New dive brings new hope for glory-seeking Knight-Wisdom

Thursday, July 19, 2018

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BARRANQUILLA, Colombia — Yona Knight-Wisdom, who scaled new heights to represent Jamaica in the 3km springboard diving event at the Olympic Games, is banking on a changed strategy to garner better results.

He begins competition today.

“I've been working on my new dive,” said Knight-Wisdom, who arrived here on Tuesday afternoon for competition at the 23rd Central American and Caribbean (CAC) Games.

“There's two of them… and they're both coming on well,” he said of his new diving strategies. “It's been a combination of how to train them properly and feeling comfortable in training.

“It's getting there slowly, it's getting there, but they're not easy dives, especially for a person of my height, so that's the main challenge and as I keep doing it, it gets better in training so it will get better and better in competition,” he explained.

Coaching him through the challenge is Rebecca Gallantree, who explained that all this is being done to maximise his scoring potential.

“The change has come by solving his degree of difficulty, which will give him the potential to score higher because they're hard dives,” Gallantree explained. “So if he does them well, then he can score higher than doing the easy dives well.”

She added: “He's come really far. There's still a little bit more work to go, but hopefully we can use this event and progress those dives further.”

Knight-Wisdom, who recently competed at the World Cup in Wuhan, has no lofty expectations for CAC, but said he has been working hard and wants to end the season on a high.

“I'm looking forward to finishing my season pretty strongly, as strongly as I possibly can,” he said.

“In terms of expectation I'm not coming into the competition with any expectation because I don't know what the competition is going to be like here. I'm just here to enjoy myself, have a good time and continue my preparations all the way through to qualifying for Tokyo 2020.”

Looking back, Knight Wisdom expressed some amount of dissatisfaction with his performances this season. Still, he harbours hope for improvements.

“They've been a little bit inconsistent, not terrible, but not as good as I was hoping for and I am still a bit frustrated by certain performances throughout the year, particularly the Commonwealth Games,” he said. “So I'm coming into this one just hoping to improve and learn from what I've done before and just continue on the path that I built last year.”

Having trod a similar path as a diver, Gallantree hopes her experience with both Knight-Wisdom and the sport synchronise for the swimmer's benefit.

“This is my first time coaching Yona in a competition. I do actually know him very well because I trained with him when I was a diver, for many, many years in Leeds and I'm really looking forward,” she said.

“I've been watching on the TV and on the Internet while he's competing throughout the year and I'm really looking forward to working with him this week. I'm doing everything I can to assist Yona and help him to perform as well as he can.”

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