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Sarah Barrow blogs about the Diving World Series in Windsor

3 June 2014

Sarah Barrow is one of Great Britain’s most successful female platform divers of all time, having won European gold and World Cup bronze for 10m Synchro in 2012. In this blog, she looks back on the fifth leg of the 2014 FINA/NVC Diving World Series in Windsor, Canada where she won 10m Synchro silver with partner Tonia Couch and reached the individual 10m final.

Last weekend, the British divers were in Windsor, Canada for the fifth World Series out of six.

Back at home I was looking forward to going away - training had been going well and Canada always throw a good meet.

Getting out there was a bit of a trek. We had a 12:30 am pickup on Monday, getting to Heathrow for 4:30, before an eight hour plane journey to Washington DC and an airport wait with a delayed and full plane to Detroit.

With a five hour time difference behind the UK, I wasn't surprised when I was seeing double standing on the 10m the next day.Washington to Detroit was just a couple hours then when we got to Detroit we were picked up by Canadian volunteers who drove us over the border to Windsor. It was meant to take 40 minutes... but we got lost and it took us two hours!

With a five hour time difference behind the UK, I wasn't surprised when I was seeing double standing on the 10m the next day. It was very strange being in Windsor, Canada and looking out over the river to see Detroit, USA - pretty cool.

Training over the three days before competition went well. I was happy with synchro training although not so happy with my reverse dive (fourth in my list) but Andy [Banks, coach] always knows what to say to keep me confident. There wasn't too much to do in Windsor, so on our afternoon off we walked along the river taking photos in the sun, anything to make us laugh.

I had a good feeling going into Friday's synchro competition with Tonia, much like the feeling in London. We started the competition well with our requireds. On our third dive I heard the announcer say the Chinese had pulled out, I looked at Tonia in her own little world and knew she hadn't heard.

We had our hardest dive to do as well coming up so I decided not to say anything. This led to the problem that we had to be ready now a dive pair less. Before the Chinese pulled out we jumped in after them but with them pulling out I had to keep reminding Tonia to jump in after Malaysia.

We were sat in the hot tub straight after the competition, really happy with our second place and she said "did the Chinese pull out? I had no idea, I thought you were a bit keen so I just went along with what you said".

I think this is why we are such a good partnership - we are relaxed when we are together and we know what or what not to say most of the time.

The same plan as always the next day, I went onto 10m again to do my other two dives that are not involved in synchro, one each. One armstand which went great and then three reverses which were not so great.

I thought it would be ok on the day. Fingers crossed. It was a tough long Sunday with a 6.30am alarm and I was in the pool for 8am with Tonia and Tom. I had a really bad warm up, I didn't even train my front 3.5 dive.

I went in the final happy just to be in it. I had no pressure, I just needed a bigger score.We were both in semi final B after the men and we didn't compete until 12.30. That is a long time to wait which is perhaps why everyone was a bit off. Considering how bad my warm up was, I was pleased with how I dived. I did the best scoring forward 3.5 in a very long time and reverse wasn't too bad either and I made the final in third place.

I went in the final happy just to be in it. I had no pressure, I just needed a bigger score. All of my dives were consistent, including another reverse. I know I can do better and I have done in the past but it is my highest score in a World Series final and I finished fifth - just 1.2 off fourth place.

We are on to Monterrey, Mexico next for the last leg of the World Series this weekend. Our first flight was cancelled so I'm sat in another airport writing this blog but I'm excited for the sixth and final World Series.

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