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For the last six years Southampton’s divers have competed against leading youngsters from the Berlin Diving Club. The venue is alternated, one year in Berlin, the next in Southampton. This year it was the turn of the young Southampton divers to visit Germany for a few days of training and two days of ‘friendly’ competition. The team of thirteen divers were invited to train at the fantastic Berlin diving facility, which is home of German Olympic and World Champion Diving star Patrick Hausding. The team of 13 travelled with their support team and senior coach Jack Clewlow. They enthusiastically trained over three days, even brushing shoulders with Hausding, before competing at the end of the week.
On the first day of competition the girls took to the platform and the boys the 3m springboard. Maddie Angell got SDA off to a good start executing an excellent set of dives, where she scored mainly 7’s & 7.5’s to achieve a personal best score and win the gold medal in the girls 14/15 years. Lucy Hawkins also competed in this event finishing in 4th. In the girls 16+ age group Mollie James impressed the judges with her back dive pike from the 7.5m board, achieving 8’s and helping her to win the silver medal. In the youngest age group of 12/13 years for the girls, Tanya Watson dived steadily to win the silver medal, closely followed by team mate Emily Martin in bronze medal position.
In the boys 3m springboard event, 15 year old Lewys Oakley was set the task of diving in the boys 16+ event. Lewys performed an impressive set of ten dives to finish in bronze medal position and achieving a personal best score. In the boys 14/15 Years event Max Cott won bronze, also competing in this event for SDA, Thomas Graham and Scott Palmer came fourth and fifth respectively. Brandon Foster and Robbie Brodie competed in the youngest age group of 12/13 years, Brandon Foster tussled all the way with the Germans finally settling for the bronze medal whilst team mate Robbie Brodie was fourth.
On the second day of competition the diver’s swapped boards and the girls stepped up first to take to the 3m springboards this time. In the girls 16+ years Mollie James achieved a personal best score and a bronze medal, performing a fantastic reverse two and half somersaults tucked, achieving her 54.60 points from the judges. 14 year old Maddie Angell also competed in this age group, showing her maturity to perform a set of 9 dives for the first time in competition and finish in fourth place, just behind team mate Mollie. Lucy Hawkins and Sophie Kinnard competed in the girls 14/15 years, Lucy dived consistently to take the bronze medal and Sophie came fourth. In the girls 12/13 years Tanya Watson returned to the podium once again, this time, to collect the bronze medal. Team mate Emily Martin finished fourth.
The boys platform 12/13 years event was where SDA really excelled. Brandon Foster securing the gold and William Osborne the silver, both boys performed almost faultless handstand single somersault piked dives from the 7.5m board with Foster scoring 7.5’s and Osborne 8’s. Foster executed a fantastic set of seven dives to win his second medal of the weekend, this time gold! Also returning to the podium were Max Cott and Lewys Oakley who won Silver and bronze respectively in the Boys 14/15 Years Platform event, Cott performed an impressive set of dives with many scores of 8’s from the judges. Thomas Graham and fourteen year old Scott Palmer competed in the boys 16+ years platform event where Graham took the bronze medal closely followed by team mate Palmer in fourth.
This competition required the divers to meet the conditions of the ‘Fina Test’, therefore were required to include a twist dive from springboard and a handstand or twist from the platform. Almost all the divers also had to compete with more dives than they would normally. Senior Coach Jack Clewlow said:
“It was a pleasure to see the Southampton Divers step up to the challenge and compete so well against some of the top divers in Europe. The experience will have put them in great standing to move forwards into the 2014 competitive season.”