Wed | Sep 20, 2017

Knight-Wisdom looking to hit new heights in 2017

Published:Saturday | December 24, 2016 | 12:00 AMShayne Fairman
Knight-Wisdom
Yona Knight-Wisdom competes in the men’s 3m springboard diving preliminaries at the Rio de Janeiro Olympics.
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Lifted by his semi-final finish in the diving competition at last summer's Olympics in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, Yona Knight-Wisdom is looking to hit the pool in early January in preparation for a new challenge next season.

The diver, who became Jamaica's first male diving representative at the Olympics, is looking 'to nail down what he hopes are key improvements' ahead of next year's competitions, which are set to get underway in February in Leeds, England.

Meanwhile, Knight-Wisdom's performances impressed many Jamaicans and he has been nominated for the RJR Sports Foundation's People's Choice award.

"Hopefully, I will be here. My first competition starts in February. I want to maintain consistent training and performing at my best," he outlined.

The 21-year-old England-based diver is only the second Jamaican diver to the Olympics. Betsy Sullivan made it to the 1972 Munich Games.

 

SPORTSMAN OF THE YEAR

 

After qualifying for Rio 2016, Knight-Wisdom was named Leeds Beckett University Sportsman of the Year for 2016.

"This year has been very groundbreaking for me, getting that silver medal in February at the World Cup was out of the world, personally. In the diving world, it was huge, and a lot of people were shocked by it," he said.

He also 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.

"The reason why I missed out is that I didn't actually bring my best to that semi-final. I made some simple mistakes we all make as divers," he outlined.

Meanwhile, the diver did admit that he has been blessed with the 'best of both worlds'. He is representing Jamaica, while training in England with "some of the best divers", including Rio Olympic gold and a silver medallists.

"The club I am actually with is one of the most successful in the country and maybe one of the most successful clubs in the world. One of the guys I train with got an Olympic silver medal. His female partner she got an Olympic gold in the synchro event," he added.

Knight-Wisdom, who was born in Leeds, England to Jamaican father Trevor Wisdom and Barbadian mother Grace Knight, chose to represent Jamaica despite being eligible to represent his native Great Britain and Barbados.

"It's been the most amazing four years of my life. Obviously, it is such a positive year. I have never represented Great Britain before. Jamaica was my first country.

"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.