Vincent does SA proud by making Fina final | SASCOC - SASCOC

Vincent does SA proud by making Fina final


By Mark Etheridge

Despite being unable to quite match her semi-final moment, South Africa’s Julia Vincent was ecstatic to have made a groundbreaking final in Friday night’s 3-metre springboard diving event at the Fina World Aquatic Championships in Budapest, Hungary.

In the semi-finals she’d racked up a personal best of 289.65 and Friday’s final saw her scoring 265.90.

It was a nervous Vincent who took to the diving arena, determined to do the best she could for her country, and all too aware that she was the first diver in a long time to make a final at a Fina World Championship event.

Her first dive was well-executed, considering her nerves, the entire new experience of being the first diver in the competition in a World Championship final, and standing on the board waiting for television to be ready for her first dive.

After the first round she was placed eighth. Her second dive then let her down as she was out of balance in her hurdle, and this dropped her to 11th place in the standing after round two.

But she held on to this position in the following two rounds, before another unfortunate hurdle and way too much adrenalin meant that the dive that got her into the final let her down in the final, and she ended 12th of 12 competitors.

Still, overall, she’s had a remarkable competition and for a change the international fraternity are speaking about the first South African to make a final and how well she dived.

vincentVincent, based in Columbia, South Carolina, took time out to share her excitement with Team SA.

Making the final at this meet has always been the goal,’ she enthused. ‘I had no idea it was going to happen this soon, but it was what I was working towards every day because it was a goal I actually wrote down at the beginning of my season.

‘I bettered my international personal best by just over 30 points in the semi-final, and my score in the final was lower than my semi  because I did make a few mistakes on my last two dives.

‘But I’m still happy with that as it is still an improvement from my other international meets. This gives me a lot of confidence and a sense of peace going into future international meets.

‘It also helps to know that I can compete alongside these girls and that my diving is going in the right direction. I am hoping that my next big meet will be Commonwealth Games next year, I think it would be a great meet to attend and I think Team SA could be very successful there.’

Looking ahead, she has time to reflect on a ripping good season. ‘It’s a little quiet for a while, but my college season will start up in October, so I’ll be competing at quite a few dual meets against other schools in the upcoming months.

‘For right now though, I’m taking a little break to let my body recover from the intense training and competing I have been doing the past few months.’

Pictures courtesy of Dominique Philippopoulos

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