Young divers finish second at 8 Nations Youth Diving Meet

Great Britain’s young divers finished second at the 8 Nations Youth Diving Meet in Turin, Italy at the weekend.

The two-day competition which took place on Friday 22 and Saturday 23 March saw the group win five medals with three silvers and two bronzes at the Piscina Stadio Monumentale.

Great Britain’s 10-strong team included a mixture of athletes from Swim England’s Team Y and Diploma in Sporting Excellence (DiSE) programme as well as British Swimming’s Podium Potential and developmental squads.

It was a first GB international for six of those athletes who were able to learn a lot to go alongside some strong performances in Italy.

Each nation were awarded points based on where they finished in each of the events across the two days with Great Britain ending on a total of 180 points.

They finished ahead of hosts Italy by just two points with Germany winning this year’s event on 227.

Medal winning performances

Amongst the British medallists was Robbie Wood who took silver in the Junior B Boys 1m Springboard and bronze in the 3m springboard event.

He opened up his competition with silver from the 1m board in just the second event in Turin as Great Britain got off to a strong start.

The teenager hit more than 30 points in eight of his nine dives in a positive opening to the competition for GB’s youngsters.

His best dive came in round six where his Forward 2 ½ Somersault Tuck scored 43.20 points put him in a strong position in a closely fought final.

That put Wood into third place with three rounds to go with his teammate Sebastian Willcox just ahead of him in second.

The GB pair were both narrowly beaten by Germany’s Anton Pinkowski, who leapt from fifth to first in the final few rounds to take home the gold.

Wood finished strongly for second on a total of 321.40, just 3.30 off Pinkowski’s total.

Willcox was just 2.10 points behind Wood but unfortunately just missed out on a medal after the British pair were split by Erik Passerone (Switzerland) in a final where just over 10 points split the top five divers.

In the 3m Wood held the lead until the final dive in what was a close battle for the crown.

Just 11 points split the top four divers in the end with Wood ending up in third place after a slight over twist in his final dive.

It’s something that he will learn from in the future as it saw the Team Y diver narrowly miss out on the title. Wood ended on 375.10 points whilst Willcox also performed well for fifth on a total of 352.00.

Todd Geggus and Connor Lano then teamed up for A/B Boys 3m silver to add to GB’s medal tally.

The pair held their nerve to seal second spot with the teams from Switzerland and Sweden both within 0.60 of the British pairs total.

Geggus and Lano sat outside of the medal places before their final dive but a Back 2 ½ Somersault Pike that scored 64.50 was enough to take them from fourth to second to give them a final score of 262.65.

Underwood’s double

Another British athlete who was on top form was Amelie Underwood who also came home with both a silver and bronze to her name.

Her silver came in the Junior A Girls 1m Springboard where she came out on top in a battle for second place with Germany’s Mathilda Wendland.

The two divers exchanged places throughout the contest but it was Underwood closed out her list with two strong dives to propel her above the German.

She trailed Mathilda by 15 points before her final two rounds but the double British Junior medal winner came from behind to finish just 0.05 in front.

Libby Duke wasn’t too far behind finishing on 339.05 to Underwood’s 351.85  as she ended in fifth spot.

The pair were even closer together in the 3m competition where Underwood took bronze with Duke in fourth place.

Underwood, who is two years younger than some of her competitors, put in another strong list to end on a total of 347 and just 17.40 points off the overall winner – Signe Stahl (Sweden).

Duke was just six points off her score with 341.30 which saw her finish ahead of both Germany’s Wendland and Emily Dehl  who were the top two in the 1m.

Underwood later teamed up with Caitlyn Coster as part of a brand new pairing who are looking to develop throughout the season.

They took part in the A/B Girls 3m Synchro event where an unfortunate knee buckle from Amelie during her hurdle resulted in a failed dive in the second round.

The partnership impressed throughout the rest of the competition however as they finished less than 40 points off the eventual winners – Emily Deml and Louise Henni Mehner of Germany – and just 10.35 off the medal places.

It was a strong start for the pairing who will be looking to battle at the top of the standings in the near future.

Team Y’s Coster was just 0.45 off a medal in the Girls B 1m Springboard after a consistent display in Turin.

Her performance included her first Forward 2 ½ Somersault as part of her list in the final round which earnt her 27.30 points as she looks to continue to improve throughout the year.

She ended on a total of 271.10 which was just behind Germany’s Nina Berger who completed a double podium for the Germans behind the eventual winner Zoe Shneider.

Siena Rae Mills was sixth in the event, ending with a final score of 264.95. Her best dive came in round six where her Inward 1 ½ Somersault Pike scored 46.80. Mills repeated her sixth place in the 3m springboard with Coster in ninth as part of a busy two days for the duo.

Elsewhere Oscar Willcox and Oscar Kane took part in the Junior A Boys events. Willcox came closest to the podium in the 3m competition after his score of 469.15 saw her him miss out by around 13 points as he finished fourth.

Willcox also placed seventh in the Junior A Boys 1m Springboard with Kane putting in solid displays to finish in tenth in both events.

You can find all the results from the 8 Nations Youth Diving Meet 2024 here.