Tuesday, 18 June 2013

City of Leeds diving stars in action in Germany



Caption: Leeds Olympians Alicia Blagg (left) and Hannah Starling (right) are competing against the best in Europe this week (image courtesy of City of Leeds Diving Club)

The City of Leeds Team GB senior diving stars are in action in Rostock in Germany this week taking part in the European Diving Championships.

London 2012 Olympians Hannah Starling, Alicia Blagg and Rebecca Gallantree will be competing in the event together with City of Leeds clubmates James Denny and Josh Dowd.

Hannah (3-metre springboard), Alicia (3m springboard, 3m synchronised) and Rebecca (1m springboard, 3m synchronised) will be looking to impress and cement their places in the Great Britain squad for next month’s FINA World Aquatics Championships in Barcelona, with the team being named next Monday.

All have been in good form so far this season, with Alicia and Rebecca teaming up to claim a first-ever silver medal for Great Britain in the FINA World Diving Series in Beijing in March and following it up with strong showings in Dubai and Edinburgh.

Hannah Starling proved she is now well over the injury which forced her to miss the British Gas Diving Championships National Cup event in Plymouth in February, twice breaking the British record in the women’s 3m springboard on her way to a battling fourth place in the world series event in Edinburgh.

For 19-year-old James (10m platform) and 18-year-old Josh (1m springboard, 3m springboard), the competition in Rostock represents their first appearances at senior European level.

Josh is making the step up after an impressive start to the season at junior level, winning a bronze medal at international level in Dresden which helped him secure selection for the Junior European Diving Championships in Poznan in Poland from July 2-7.

He will be joined in representing Great Britain in Poznan by Alicia Blagg plus the next crop of budding City of Leeds stars Lois Toulson (13 years old) and 14-year-old pair Matty Lee and Lydia Rosenthall.

Another City of Leeds Olympian Jack Laugher also continues to impress, having recently won his first medal at senior international level with a personal best in Kazan in Russia.

All of the City of Leeds divers train at the Aquatics Centre at the John Charles Centre for Sport in Leeds as part of Leeds City Council’s diving training scheme, which is headed by senior diving coach Adrian Hinchliffe and former world champion Edwin Jongejans.

Senior diving coach Adrian Hinchliffe said:

“At all levels the season is going well and the big events coming up in the next few weeks will provide more tests and help give our divers the chance to gain more experience and develop by competing against the best. That is by far the best way to learn at elite level and I’m sure they will do well.”

Notes to editors:

Leeds City Council’s diving training scheme is managed by Adrian Hinchliffe and has been running since 1986. The scheme provides opportunities in the sport of diving for all ages and from recreational to elite level. In total there are over 300 people taking part in the scheme on a daily and weekly basis, making it one of the biggest diving programmes in Britain.

For further information about the scheme contact Adrian Hinchliffe at Adrian.hinchliffe@leeds.gov.uk, Edwin Jongejans at Edwin.jongejans@leeds.gov.uk or call 0113 395 7363.

Leeds-born Team GB divers Alicia Blagg and Hannah Starling are official ambassadors for child friendly Leeds, the ambition to make Leeds the best city for children and young people to thrive and look forward to a brighter future. For more information go to www.leeds.gov.uk/childfriendlyleeds


ENDS

For media enquiries please contact:

Roger Boyde,
Leeds City Council press office,
Tel 0113 247 5472
Email: roger.boyde@leeds.gov.uk