It was medals, PBs and a Club record for Albatross Elite Divers; Charlie Minns, Hal Watts, James West and their coach Malcolm Green following the British Diving Junior Elite Competition held in Plymouth.
Junior Elites is the pinnacle of the British Junior Diving Calendar when Great Britain’s top junior competitors aged from 13 years and under through to 18 come together to battle it out for National Titles in their respective age groups. All competitors have committed themselves to the sport of diving and train extremely hard to achieve success. Medals at this level are hard earned and extremely well deserved.
It was with huge pride that 12 year old James West stepped on to the podium to receive an individual Bronze medal in the Boys C 1m event. Since winning Gold on all boards at last year’s National Age Group competition James has worked hard, perfecting his technique and learning more difficult dives ready for the challenge of elite competition. The hard work clearly paid off. James showed great maturity to execute his 1m dives consistently to win bronze with an excellent score of 279.70. James also qualified for the final in the 3m event where he finished 5th with 313.75. On platform James also dived well to finish 7th with a preliminary score of 251.65.
Charlie Minns (18) and Hal Watts(17) were both competing in the boys 16 Plus events. The standard of diving in all events was first class and both boys knew there could be no room for error. Nothing prepared the team for the excitement of the platform event. Charlie entered the 5th round a strong contender for a finals place in 4th. A mis-timed entry then saw him drop 15 points behind the entire pack. To come back from this in any competition is tricky but at National Elites it seemed almost impossible. It was testimony to Charlie’s skill and determination that his next two dives were outstanding scoring 64 points for his inward three and a half somersaults from 10m followed by 72.8 points for his newly learned reverse two and a half somersaults from 10m; a Club record! Charlie finished the competition in 5th with a finals score of 413.90. Hal put in a personal best platform performance to finish 7th with a preliminary score of 389.40.
Hal Watts excelled in the 1m springboard event where a strong performance saw him achieve a personal best finishing just outside the medals in 4th place with 413.95. Charlie finished 5th with 379.75. Fortunes reversed on 3m where Hal finished 7th with a preliminary PB score of 417.40 whilst Charlie put in a strong set of finals dives to finish 5th with 461.50.
Junior Elites also includes synchronised diving where all boys won medals. James West, diving alongside Angus from Southampton Diving Academy, took Silver in the boy’s 9-13 yrs. synchronised diving event with a score of 206.28. Not to be outdone teammates Charlie and Hal also won Silver medals diving in the boys 14-18 3m synchronised diving event scoring 222.81.
Junior Elites was Charlie’s last official competition for Albatross Diving Club. A Silver medal, Personal Best scores and a Club record was a fitting end to what has been a highly successful junior diving career. Charlie is heading to Princeton University USA where he has been awarded a place to study mathematics and music and continue his dive training. We wish Charlie every success.