Knight-Wisdom focused on improving for Tokyo Olympics

By Sports Desk July 19, 2018
Yona Knight-Wisdom. Yona Knight-Wisdom.

Jamaica diver Yona Knight-Wisdom is focused on enhancing his diving repertoire with an eye on the upcoming Tokyo Olympic Games.

The 23-year-old Knight-Wisdom, created history when he became the first Jamaican or Caribbean athlete to qualify for an Olympic Games when he booked his spot at the 2016 London Games.  At the Olympics, he competed on the men’s 3m springboard but did not advance to the final.

Despite taking part in the CAC Games under way in Barranquilla, Colombia the athlete admitted that he was already focusing on the next Olympics.

“The new dives I’ve been working on this whole year they are looking a little more solid today,” Knight Wisdom said ahead of Thursday’s first round.

“It’s kind of a thing where I need to continue working on them and eventually I’ll get there.  I’m not going to magically improve today or tomorrow or the day after but as long as I keep doing the right thing or keep making little changes here or there it will pull together,” he added.

“They won’t be exactly where I want them today or tomorrow but that’s not my ultimate goal.  My ultimate goal is Tokyo and qualifying for that so that is where my focus is.”

On Thursday, Knight-Wisdom competed in the Men’s 1m springboard preliminary round.

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    With the FINA World Championships on the horizon, Jamaican diver Yona Knight-Wisdom believes he is ready to overcome the disappointment he experienced at the 2018 Commonwealth Games and finally show the world his true potential.

    The championships are set for Gwangju, South Korea, from July 12-20 and the 24-year-old Wisdom, who will compete in the three-metre and one-metre springboard events, has set himself some basic targets, which, if he achieves secures participation at the 2020 Olympic Games in Tokyo, Japan.

    “My goal for both events is to progress to the final; for three-metre, that would mean an Olympic spot, on the one-metre that would complete a goal of mine ever since my first World Champs in 2013,” said the diver who trains in Scotland. “I guess that’s the outcome goal. My actual focus going into competition is to minimize the mistakes I make, and land upright on all of my dives.”

    Those mistakes that cost him a medal at the Commonwealth Games on Australia’s Gold Coast in 2018. It is something he admits he has struggled to come to terms with.

    “This year has been a challenge, trying to rediscover my confidence in competition and learn to trust and believe in my ability. Ever since I finished fourth on the one-metre at Commonwealths I’ve been struggling with that,” he said.

    “So this year it’s been a process of improving that. I knew I could do all of my dives and do them well, I just did not believe in it when I got on the board in competition. Now I’m starting to believe it more and more.”

    The test of that will come in South Korea where Knight plans to bring the mental and physical together in the hope that success will mean a spot on the podium.

    “This World Championships is of high importance. Of course, I have a goal in my head for the Olympics, but to be able to achieve that goal, I have to qualify my spot first, and that is certainly not a given,” he said.

    “I need to compete well at Worlds to make the final (top 12) and qualify my spot. So, although I didn’t have qualification criteria for Worlds, it important to be in a good place physically and mentally in the build-up, and I believe I am.”

     

     

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