Jamaica diver encouraged by Gold Coast Grand Prix performance

Jamaican diver Yona Knight-Wisdom said he is encouraged by his performance at the Gold Coast FINA Grand Prix in Australia on Saturday where he finished fourth less than two points from a place on the podium.

The 22-year-old Knight-Wisdom is in preparation mode for the Commonwealth Games that takes place on Australia’s Gold Coast in April 2018 and he believes he can land Jamaica a medal there.

Competing in Australia, he said, was a good experience for next year.

“The experience out here was great. The conditions were very difficult; it was really strong winds for the whole time we were out here and I am guessing it will be very similar weather when it gets around to the Commonwealth Games, so it was very good preparation,” Knight Wisdom told SportsMax.TV shortly after the competition ended on Saturday.

The diver, who represented Jamaica at the Olympic Games in Rio, Brazil, last summer, just falling short of a place in the final, explained that a few bad dives along the way cost him a spot on the podium but overall he performed well and with greater consistency than he did in Brazil in the summer of 2016.

“I had a really shaky prelim. I dropped one dive really badly but I was just about able to pull it back and make it to the semi-finals in 12th place and in the semi-final I came back with a different attitude and dived really, really well and finished in second and progressed to the final,” he said.

“In the final, I hit five out of six dives, again missed one. It wasn’t as bad as the prelim but that miss meant that I finished in fourth place and just missed out on a medal by less than two points.”

Though disappointed, he said, he was buoyed by how well he performed and this sets him up to return to Australia as a genuine medal prospect next April.

“Generally, the performances were very encouraging so I got a lot of motivation when I get back home to work really hard and see if I can work in a couple of new dives as well and then get ready for the Commonwealth Games next year and try as do the best I can out there and hopefully, maybe even get a medal in a sport that Jamaica is not used to getting medals in,” he said.