Thu | Jul 29, 2021

‘Comfortable and confident’

Knight-Wisdom ready for Olympic qualifier despite long lay-off

Published:Wednesday | March 17, 2021 | 12:25 AMLivingston Scott/Gleaner Writer
Knight-Wisdom
Knight-Wisdom

Despite no international competition for over a year, Jamaica’s premier diver, Yona Knight-Wisdom, said he is fully prepared for the FINA Diving World Cup in Tokyo, Japan, an Olympic-qualifying event, from April 18 to 23. Though the 25-year-old...

Despite no international competition for over a year, Jamaica’s premier diver, Yona Knight-Wisdom, said he is fully prepared for the FINA Diving World Cup in Tokyo, Japan, an Olympic-qualifying event, from April 18 to 23.

Though the 25-year-old admitted his concern about how he will react to the added pressure that is attached to competition, he is convinced he can achieve 410 points in the preliminaries and secure his place in the semi-finals and the Tokyo Olympics later this year, based on his improvements.

“Preparation is going as smoothly as I could hope. My body is fully feeling good and I am happy with how my training is going,” said Knight-Wisdom.

“So it’s just about maintaining my health and my fitness, and try to use training sessions to prepare for competitions as best as possible,” he said.

He notes that he gets better every day in training and this has boosted his confidence, while making him more comfortable with his executions.

“I feel comfortable and confident with each dive, and every week I feel more confident and more comfortable with everything, so I execute better and better every time in training.

“The only real changes is going to be the pressure of competition, but I am hoping that by the time I get there, my confidence will be high enough that I will not be able to feel the pressure and I will be able to execute as best as possible,” he stated.

“So it is just a case of trying to replicate the (training) environment as best as possible and to be composed and confident, so that no matter how I am feeling on that day, I can do the dives well enough to get a good overall performance to get me into the position I need,” Knight-Wisdom stated.

Knight-Wisdom will be competing in the three-metre springboard event, where the top 18 finishers will earn a spot at the Tokyo Olympics.

“I am pretty comfortable knowing that I can go into this competition with six dives that I do well and I am comfortable with, so I don’t foresee an issue performing them, even under the pressure,” Knight-Wisdom said. “It is top 18 and making the semi-finals (that qualifies you for the Olympics) and my aim is 410 points. If I can get 410 points in the prelim, that will be enough to make it through to the semi-finals.”

“I have been practising my competitions in training and I got around that score a number of times already, and I know there is still some left in the tank. But if I can do that (get 410 points) I will be satisfied,” he said.

With no international activity for over a year, competitors will have very little knowledge of their opponents’ present capabilities, but the 2016 Olympian insists he will be focusing solely on his game.

“There has been no international competition for a year. Some divers are doing national events, but I don’t know how they are going to be feeling, so I have to give them that respect,” he said. “I just have to concentrate on myself, and as long as I can hit the score and performance that I am targeting, I can be content, and I think I am in a good place to achieve that.”

livingston.scott@gleanerjm.com