Monday, February 05, 2018

Scots finish as runners-up at Senet Diving Cup 2018

It was a perfect ten of medals for Scotland's divers at the Senet Diving Cup, helping the team achieve an overall second placed finish in the competition.

The event, based in the Netherlands attracted over 30 teams, is the largest international diving event in Europe and marked the first Scottish team competition in over six years. The team's participation was part of the continued implementation of Scottish Swimming's Performance Plan, and the positive results are a sign of the healthy growth in talent within Scottish diving.

Over four days of competition the Scottish divers competed in 32 events, winning ten medals and recording 17 personal bests. Commonwealth Games nominees James Heatly, Lucas Thomson and Gemma McArthur all won gold medals and there was an additional inidividual silver for Heatly. Thomson and McArthur partnered to top spot in the Open Mixed Platform Synchro, while Heatly and Thomson's efforts in the Open Mens Platform Synchro also achieved gold. McArthur added an individual gold in the Open Women's 10m Platform while Heatly's silver medal came in the Open Mens 1m Springboard.

The coaches hoped that the experience of Heatly, McArthur and Thomas would rub off on their younger team-mates, whose ages ranged from 11 to 14, and this proved to be the case with a further four medallists amongst the ten-strong team. Ally Whike, Scottish Swimming Director od Performance, said: "The standard of diving was high with Olympians and European champions competing. Heatly, McArthur & Thomsons’ experience was evident and encouraged our less experienced divers to perform at their best.

"The overall objective for attending this event was to expose the divers to a higher level of competition and encourage them to push and improve their performances whilst maintaining their focus over the six days."

Of the younger divers, 12-year-old Kade Hamilton's performance was a particular highlight, winning gold in both the Group C Boys Platform and Group C Boys 3m Springboard. Danny Mabbott and Lewis Thomas achieved silver medals in the Group B and C Boys 3m events respectively, and the former teamed up with Mhairi Goodwin on the way to another silver in the Group A/B Mixed 3m Synchro.

The Scottish team were beaten only by Finland. Whike added: "It was an excellent event, very well organised and great experience for the younger divers with encouraging results from the whole team."

Jenny Leeming, one of the team's two coaches, said: "Our divers got chance to rub shoulders with divers from Eygpt, Turkey, Norway and many more different countries something that some of our younger divers have never experienced before. Our more experienced divers set an excellent example for the rest of the team both in and out of the pool. 

"The fact that Scottish divers walked away with 10 medals and 17 personal bests between them really demonstrates the step up all our divers made at this meet."

The Senet Diving Cup is a qualification event for World Youth and European Championships. The Cup attarcts almost 250 participants from 20 different countries and over 600 starts every year. It takes place in the Pieter van den Hoogenband swimming stadium.

The Scottish team at the Senet Diving Cup 2018 was as follows:

  • Libby Duke
  • Cameron Gammage
  • Ellen Gillespie
  • Mhairi Goodwin
  • Kade Hamilton
  • James Heatly
  • Danny Mabbott
  • Gemma McArthur
  • Lewis Thomas
  • Lucas Thomson

Team Manager: Mary Sless

Coaches: Jenny Leeming and Judy Wardlaw.

Check out photos from the event on our Twitter stream (@ScottishSwim) and our Facebook page (https://www.facebook.com/ScottishSwimming/).

You can also rewatch the whole competition on the Senet Diving Cup YouTube channel.

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