Knight-Wisdom wins first Grand Prix medal, targets greater improvement

By February 18, 2020

Jamaican diver Yona Knight-Wisdom has expressed delight at having won his first-ever Grand Prix medal at the FINA Grand Prix at the Centro de Natación M’86 in Madrid on Saturday.

Knight-Wisdom, the 2019 Pan Am Games silver medallist, scored 373.5 points in the preliminary round to advance to the semi-finals where he upped the ante to score 428.45 to qualify for the finals. He then scored 441.40 points to finish second and claimed his first medal in the competition after seven years of trying.

USA's Briadam Herrera won the gold medal while his compatriot Steele Johnson secured the bronze medal.

Jamaica's aquatic diver of the year 2019, was chuffed with the outcome.

“I’m super happy to come away from this trip with a silver medal!” he told Sportsmax.TV, explaining that the work he has been putting has been paying off.

“It’s a great reward for the hard work that I’ve put in so far and a big incentive to do even more. I still have room to improve on the quality of each dive but in particular, my prelim performance can be better.”

Having broken through, Knight-Wisdom plans to focus on getting even better as he gets ever closer to the FINA World Championships in April where he intends to qualify for the 2020 Olympics in Tokyo, Japan in July.

“I know I’m capable of scores of 420-plus as I proved in the semi and final, but I want to get closer to that kind of score in the prelims as well,” he said.

“Nevertheless, it’s a great way to start my international season. I’m still on the right path and looking forward to another run out this week in Rostock.”

Leighton Levy

Leighton Levy is a journalist with 28 years’ experience covering crime, entertainment, and sports. He joined the staff at SportsMax.TV as a content editor two years ago and is enjoying the experience of developing sports content and new ideas. At SportsMax.tv he is pursuing his true passion - sports.

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    Among them was 2016 Olympian Yona Knight-Wisdom, who underlined the impact on preparation created by the COVID-19 Pandemic.

    “2020 has, of course, been difficult for everybody, but particularly for athletes in so many ways - spending so much time away from normal training, losing the chance to earn prize money from competitions and also the exposure that big events can bring. So it’s great to finally be back in full-time training, preparing for whatever 2021 brings,” said the diver based in the United Kingdom.

    “But to have the financial backing of the JOA will help to give me that extra bit of motivation to work hard every day and be ready to compete to my highest level when the time comes,” the 25-year-old added.

    Kinght-Wisdom created history in becoming the first athlete to represent Jamaica in Olympic diving competition at the 2016 Rio Games. He explained that additional JOA funding will allow him to focus unilaterally on competition.

    “This investment will allow for me to get more physiotherapy to help look after my body, as well as to help pay for day-to-day training expenses such as travel, which means I can focus on the important things,” he said.

    “Hopefully this support will allow all of us to represent Jamaica to our highest level in Tokyo, because I believe a successful Olympics will bring joy and lift the spirits of the island as we come out of this terrible pandemic.”

    Tafari Whitter of Skateboarding Jamaica Limited, who is hoping to become the nation’s first Olympic skateboarder believes the funds being made available will ease difficulties created by COVID-19.

    “I am very proud of the JOA family on the fast track of 40 million dollars for athletes’ preparation, due to COVID making things hard for most of us,” said Whitter.

    “The JOA family managed to still keep things under control throughout these rough times and that is why I am so thankful and grateful for the opportunity of being part of history. Love you Jamaica. Let’s go to Tokyo. I am so, so proud of the JOA family.”

    Martial artist Alton Brown has his sights firmly set on Olympic competition in karate. He is the number-one ranked male karate athlete within the Caribbean and number two in his division across Pan America and number 22 in the world.

    “I have my eyes firmly set on two objectives; qualification and medal success at the Tokyo Games and legacy within Jamaica Karate following the Games. This additional funding from the JOA will have a vital impact on my ability to continue to pursue and successfully reach those goals,” Brown said.

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