GLASGOW – Whether he wins a medal or not, Yona Knight-Wisdom has drawn a lot of attention at the 20th Commonwealth Games in Glasgow, Scotland.
The teenager became the first person to represent a Caribbean nation in diving at the Commonwealth Games when he took to the springboard in the colours of Jamaica.
The British-born 18-year-old had the option of representing the country of his birth, the birthplace of his Barbadian mother or that of his Jamaican father. In the end he chose Jamaica since, according to him, Jamaica offered more funding than Barbados and he would have had to battle against a number of other English hopefuls for a place on the Great Britain team.
Support for Knight-Wisdom at Edinburgh’s Royal Commonwealth Pool on the first two days of competition has been huge. He finished fifth in the 1m springboard final yesterday and today also qualified for the 3m final.
Knight-Wisdom spoke to the media at the Games about his performance and near-miss at getting a medal in the 1m springboard final.
“Last night was just absolutely phenomenal. I struggled to get off to sleep because I was thinking about the competition.
“I had a quick watch of it [online] to see what the commentator was saying and what the crowd were like. It was absolutely surreal, I couldn’t believe that that had happened just a few hours before,” he said.
The young man was also ecstatic about reaching another final.
“I’m really happy that I got through to the final. It’s been a bit of a struggle this year with injuries and everything so leading up to it I was asking a few questions of myself, but I’m glad that I’ve dived well. That’s my second-best score of the year so I’m really really happy.”
His height has been an issue as he is rather tall for a diver.
“Yeah, I’ve felt that for my whole diving career. I’ve always not been able to do the difficult dives that, for example, Jack [Laugher] and James [Denny] can do, but I somehow manage to dive as well as I do.”
Knight-Wisdom first debuted for Jamaica at an international meeting in Dresden, Germany in 2012 where he advanced to the final.
The Leeds-born youngster told the media that he currently was focusing more on diving than his university studies.
“At the moment definitely diving, for sure. I love going to uni, I love all my uni mates, but diving’s my priority. It comes first every single time.”