Thu | Aug 22, 2019

Wisdom in defeat - National diver shaking off disappointing season, looking towards Tokyo 2020

Published:Tuesday | August 7, 2018 | 12:00 AMLivingston Scott/Gleaner Writer

Jamaican diver Yona Knight-Wisdom said missing out on a Commonwealth medal was so devastating that it set the tone for him for the remainder of the season.

However, he said, he learned lessons from the experience and that his only focus for next season, to qualify for a second Olympic Games.

Knight-Wisdom started the season with a bang, winning the one-metre dive at the British nationals and was confident of building on that for the rest of the season.

But the 23-year-old said that after narrowly missing out on bronze in the same event at the Commonwealth Games on the Gold Coast, Australia last April, the disappointment carried throughout the season.

"This season started confidently for me at the British national championships," he said. "I won the one-metre event with a near personal best. It was pretty satisfying, and I thought I would have built on it After that, I went to the Commonwealth Games, and I finished fourth, which was frustrating, as my goal was to get a medal. I came so close and I believe if I had got it (medal) on the one metre, I would have been in a more confident place to get it on three metres. But because I didn't get it, I was so frustrated and carried into the next day".


Wanted medal badly


"I wanted that Commonwealth medal so badly for me and the country, and I came so close. But I dwelled on that too much, going fourth. I went to China for the World Cup, and that was another frustrating one. I carried a lot of frustration from Commonwealth there and it took me a while to get over that. But it helped me learn the lesson I needed.

But CAC (Central American and Caribbean Games) set the tone for the entire year.

So it was pretty average. But I learned a lot about myself and what I need to improve on," he reasoned.

Part of his problem was translating his training performance into competition, but Knight-Wisdom said that he is looking to do a better job of that next year. "I hope to put myself in that place where I can translate training into competition. I put in the hard work, and I will again this preseason. So I expect to be more prepared this season. I become better and more consistent in training, and I hope that will translate into competitions," he said.

But Knight-Wisdom's main objective for 2019 is to secure his place at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics. "My only goal for next season is to use the first opportunity to quality for Tokyo, and that is by getting into the top 12 at the World Championships in South Korea next year.

"I qualified for the (Rio) Olympics by virtue of the World Cup in Rio in 2016.

"That was a last opportunity, but this time, if I get to the final at World Champs, and make the top 12, I will get in (Tokyo Games), and that's definitely my goal for this year," he stated.

Knight-Wisdom was fourth in the one metre and ninth in the three-metres event at the Commonwealth Games. He was also ninth in the one metre at the CAC Games in Barranquilla, Colombia, recently.