Thu | Aug 17, 2017

'Best year of my life' - Knight-Wisdom thrilled with 2016 splash

Published:Wednesday | December 21, 2016 | 12:00 AMShayne Fairman
Knight-Wisdom

Jamaica's first-ever male Olympic diver, Yona Knight-Wisdom, feels that winning the People's Choice Performance of the Year award at next month's RJR Sports Foundation National Sportsman and Sportswoman of the year award ceremony would bring a perfect end to what he calls one of the best years of his life.

The 21-year-old, who became Jamaica's first male diver to compete in the Olympic Games, came close to making it all the way to the 3m springboard final in Rio, finishing two places outside of the qualifying spots after a strong preliminary-round showing that sent him splashing into the semi-finals.

"It was an amazing experience in Rio, and to be a part of the most successful Jamaican team that ever went to the Olympics is something I can look back on very very proudly. I will always have that as part of my life. (It is the) best year of my life, and to be recognised for that category this year is really fantastic," he said of the People's Choice award nomination.

 

STELLAR PERFORMERS

 

The prestigious annual awards ceremony is slated for January 13 at The Jamaica Pegasus hotel in New Kingston.

Knight-Wisdom's series of dives will be going against stellar Olympic and international performers like Alia Atkinson and Elaine Thompson in the popular category.

Other performers include Calabar High's 400m star Christopher Taylor and local footballer Michael Binns.

"I was looking through some of the other competitors, and Elaine Thompson, who is up there, did fantastically to win gold in Rio. Her performance and Alia's are truly phenomenal," said the diver.

Knight-Wisdom is the second Jamaican diver to the Olympics. Retired Olympian Betsy Sullivan made it to the 1972 Munich Games, placing 29th in the first round.

"I would have it no other way, and I am so happy I made it through, representing Jamaica, and I thank everyone for their support, and I would love to do it over again in four years," he told The Gleaner.

Knight-Wisdom finished his semi-final with 381.40 points after scoring 75, 48, 45.90, 63, 72, and 77.50 on his six attempts.