Sat | Aug 18, 2018

Splash the cash - Olympic diver Knight-Wisdom pleads for support

Published:Thursday | August 9, 2018 | 12:20 AMLivingston Scott/Gleaner Writer
Yona Knight-Wisdom competing at the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro.

Jamaica's lone diver on the international circuit, Yona Knight-Wisdom, says the next two years of his career will be very important and he is on the lookout for any possible sponsorship, that can help him achieve his ambitions.

The England-born Jamaican representative, who just missed out on a historic medal at the Commonwealth Games in April, has his sights set on accomplishing great things in 2019, but says it will be tough without adequate funding.

"I want to thank the Jamaican people who supported me through the ups and downs, the difficult times. It will come good soon," Knight-Wisdom told The Gleaner via telephone yesterday. "I would like to show my thanks to the Jamaican people and I hope I can bring my best next year and make them proud every time I compete.

"But I'm on the lookout for more sponsorship, more funding to continue for the next two years, minimum, and hopefully beyond. I want to continue representing this country as long as possible, so if there is any opportunity for that (sponsorship) or anything that can help me move forward, I am always open to that suggestion," he said.

The 23-year-old said more funding will help pay for physiotherapy, dietary, training and travel expenses.

"To just reduce the unnecessary stresses finances cause. That would put me in a better physical and mental state," added Knight-Wisdom.

 

OLYMPIC GAMES

 

Since making his debut for Jamaica two years ago, Knight-Wisdom, who created history when he became the first Jamaican male to compete at the Olympic Games, when he did so at Rio 2016, believes he has progressed steadily and is looking to seal a second successive qualification to the Olympics Games at Japan 2020.

"I hope to make Jamaica proud next season. I wanted to improve on the season before. Where I was last year to where I am now, I have a better understanding of what I need and how I need to train. I don't have the same youthful energy I had four years ago, but I have definitely progressed. I am in a much better place than in 2016. I am looking forward to next year and trying to qualify for the next Olympics, and any support will be helpful," he said.

Knight-Wisdom is currently listed as the 24th best diver in the world, based on the latest FINA rankings.

livingston.scott@gleanerjm.com