Sun | Aug 7, 2022

Knight-Wisdom banking on different approach

Diver eyes medal at the 2022 Commonwealth Games

Published:Tuesday | May 24, 2022 | 12:09 AMDaniel Wheeler/Staff Reporter
Yona Knight-Wisdom
Yona Knight-Wisdom

With a change in approach and perspective from his Tokyo Olympic campaign, Olympic diver Yona Knight-Wisdom says that he hopes that he can be in the perfect form for a chance at a medal at the 2022 Commonwealth Games this summer. Knight-Wisdom...

With a change in approach and perspective from his Tokyo Olympic campaign, Olympic diver Yona Knight-Wisdom says that he hopes that he can be in the perfect form for a chance at a medal at the 2022 Commonwealth Games this summer.

Knight-Wisdom secured Jamaica’s place on the Aquatic team for the Games last week and has been making subtle changes to his preparations, which he hopes will reap rewards in three months’ time.

Compared to his preparations for the Tokyo Olympics last year, where he failed to advance to the final, Knight-Wisdom said that he is more focused on his execution in training to allow the dives to come to him instead of searching for them.

“It’s weird because I went into the Olympics with this goal and this ambition and this mindset, and I felt like I was doing really well, but I felt like it almost came too soon for me in terms of where my dives were at,” Knight-Wisdom told The Gleaner. “I felt like I just had to stay on the path because I was doing all the right things then. And personally, I think it was a case of just maintaining my level, maintaining my intensity, and my focus and the dives would eventually come to me. And I am getting to the stage now where the dives are coming to me, and I am getting more consistent. That is leading to me executing them in competitions a lot better now than I was last year.”

Knight-Wisdom recently tasted success at the Futures Cup event in Plymouth in the 3m springboards in a new personal best of 481.05 points. Knight-Wisdom owed the recent uptick in his performances to adjustments in his preparation.

“There have been little things that I have tried to change. I’ve been able to work with a physio who has been kind enough to sponsor me since Tokyo, I am getting more frequent treatment and making some small changes to my diet, which has boosted me in training every single day so that I can get that little bit more out.”

The one obstacle to those preparations has been the lack of events on the world circuit with the cancellation or postponement of FINA Diving World Series event in April and the postponement of the Diving World Series event in Canada, which was originally scheduled for this month.

While frustrated at the lack of international events so far this season, Knight-Wisdom will be supplemented with a loaded schedule from now until the Commonwealth Games, starting with the British National Diving championships this weekend. He says he will have to properly manage his health given his advanced years in the sport but is confident in his abilities and his chances this summer.

“I think that preparation can surely only benefit my chances of doing well because by the time the Commonwealth Games comes around, I’m going to have so much competition experience. As long as I stay healthy, I should have a lot of trust and confidence in my dives. My confidence is high right now, so it’s just to maintain that,” Knight-Wisdom said.

daniel.wheeler@gleanerjm.com