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This Summer saw four of Southampton Diving Academy’s top Junior divers represent their Country in outdoor pools in Italy at two international diving Championships.
Gemma McArthur, Madeleine Angel, Brandon Foster and Emily Martin were selected following their excellent performances at The National Junior Elite Diving Championships in May.
Gemma won the honour to represent Great Britain at The Junior European Diving Championships 2014 in Bergamo, Italy at the beginning of July. She travelled with the 17 strong Junior GB team taking her place competing in the Girls 16/18 Years Platform event. Gemma finished a very respectable fourth in the preliminaries concluding with an outstanding inward three and half somersaults tucked recording a score of 354.60. In the final, the divers repeat their optional dives (more difficult dives) to compete for a medal, Gemma improved her score to 359.80 but slipped into 7th place just ahead of her GB Teammate from Plymouth. This was Gemma’s first time competing for Team GB and her first experience diving in an outdoor pool. She was delighted to have been part of this otherwise established Junior GB Team.
Maddie, Brandon and Emily all earned a place on the England team that travelled to Rome, Italy in mid July. All three SDA divers competed on all three boards with all having most success in their platform events.
Diving in the girls 14/15 years Maddie Angell was uncatchable in her Platform event, all seven dives were outstanding, scoring over 50 points for each optional dive, achieving a personal best score and winning the Gold Medal – an incredible 33 points ahead of her England teammate in silver position. Maddie also won bronze in her 1m springboard event, where she held the lead for most of the event but a poor final dive resulted in a 3rd place finish, rather then gold.
Emily Martin, competing in the girls 12/13 Years, performed an excellent set of six dives in her platform event to record a personal best score, finishing with an outstanding inward two and half somersaults tuck from the 5m platform, attracting a score of 60.45 points to lift her above her European competitors and secure the Bronze medal. Emily achieved a very respectable 5th with another personal best score in her 1m springboard competition. Emily was also proud to receive the ‘female highest scoring dive of the meet’ award for her 60.45 point dive on platform; this was a fantastic achievement as she was up against female divers from all age groups, up to and including 16/18 Years.
Brandon Foster finished 4th in the boys 12/13 years platform, an agonising 0.55 of a point from the bronze medal position, despite scoring 8’s for his incredible handstand dive. A missed last dive denied him a medal. Brandon also recorded a personal best score on 3m, but finished outside the medals.
This trio were exposed various weather conditions, sometimes competing in 3 hour events in 32 degree heat and Maddies platform event being delayed due to a thunder and lightning storm. This coupled with travelling with the England team was a valuable experience.
Emily Martin has also secured a place on British Diving’s England Talent Programme 2014/15 after being invited to Leeds along with Brandon Foster and 20+ other Junior Elite divers from across the UK for a weekend of pool and gym assessments. Emily passed all 12 tests.