Friday, November 30, 2018

Robyn Birch and Jordan Houlden strike diving gold

Robyn Birch landed her final dive brilliantly to win the Platform title on day two of the Scottish National and Open Diving Championships, which are taking place at the Royal Commonwealth Pool in Edinburgh.

The DiveLondon athlete added to the 10m synchro gold won last night (with Gemma McArthur), this time winning the individual title with a points total of 286.55. She saved the best to last scoring 72.00 for her Back 2½ Somersaults 1½ Twists, Piked and was pleased with her performance. She said,

“The competition went well for me. There were a couple of misses during my programme and one of my dives (Inward 2½ Somersaults with Tuck) was from the 5m board. I’ve not taken that one up to the 10m board yet as it’s an inward dive. It’s not been that long since we’ve been getting our 10m dives off this season and I’m glad it’s gone as good as it did.”

Speaking about training and the international competitions next year, she added,

“It’s really important to get as much competition practice in as you can. Competitions like this that are easy to travel to gives you another opportunity to get more experience, so when you do go away to international competitions like the Worlds, you’ve got a good amount of practice under your belt.”

Ruby Bower from City of Leeds won the silver medal with 274.75 while Edinburgh Diving Club’s Gemma McArthur won bronze with 262.90.

In the Men’s 1m Springboard final, Jordan Houlden made a fantastic return to competition winning gold with 414.60 points. Houlden has been plagued by injury since the European Games in Baku in 2015 and was both shocked and elated at his win, he said,

“I can’t believe it really. It was emotional, it was fun and I just can’t get the words out to describe it.

“It’s been hard to keep motivated and train during my injury. I’ve been down to the IRU (Intensive Rehabilitation Unit) in London for some rehabilitation work on my back. They helped me out a lot and I appreciate the financial support from British Swimming for that. The rehab has got me back competing here and I’m so grateful.

“My Sheffield team-mates have also played a big part. They helped pick me up when I was feeling low; they’re a special family to be part of.”

Edinburgh Diving Club’s James Heatly won silver with 382.95 points while Matthew Dixon (Plymouth) won bronze with 369.10 points.

As top Scottish athlete, Heatly was awarded the National Title for the event, and in doing so overtook his Granddad’s impressive National Title tally. The late Sir Peter won 27 National (individual) titles and James now has 28 with two more events to go.

“Continuing the legacy that my Granddad created and claiming my 28th National title is really special and a great way to end the day.”

Full results from the competition can be found on Dive Recorder

The Scottish National & Open Diving Championships are being held at the Royal Commonwealth Pool in Edinburgh from Thursday 29 November to Sunday 2 December.

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