Welsh diver Aidan Heslop was crowned World Champion in Doha. Pic: British Swimming.

Crowning Heights: Dive Master Aidan Heslop Strikes Gold In Doha To Continue Welsh Success Story

By Gareth Davies

Aidan Heslop produced a stunning final dive to be crowned World Champion in Doha.

The 21-year-old executed the hardest dive in the world from the 27m platform to take the title.

Heslop’s success means all four Welsh swimmers competing for Britain in Qatar have won medals with Hector Pardoe taking 10km bronze and world champ Matt Richards and Medi Harris also earning bronze in the relay.

“I’m ecstatic, absolutely, but there’s more to be done, that’s for sure,” said the Plymouth-born diver who has a Wales-born mother.

“That dive has brought me happiness and sadness at different competitions. It’s been good this week – I was really nervous up on top, as you would be, but I knew what I needed to do, and the two I’ve done in training this week have been pretty excellent as well.

“The dives weren’t exactly what I was looking for, especially on the first day – but today, I put that final dive down like it should be most of the time, it was pretty consistent today, and when you’ve got the big dives, that’s all you need to be on the top of the podium,” he said.

“I think this was probably the worst of the three, actually, but if it’s enough to get me on top of the podium, I’m happy with that right now!”

Heslop, who has represented Wales at the last two Commonwealth Games, sat third heading into Thursday’s fourth and final round,21 points behind France’s Gary Hunt in first.

But he saved his best until last as he produced a breath-taking Forward 4 Somersaults 3 1/2Twists Pike (5187B) – the hardest dive in the world – to land gold.

The stunning dive took Heslop 9.70 points clear of Hunt to claim his, and Wales’, first high diving world title while Richards is also the reigning world 200m freestyle champion.

Matt Richards And Medi Harris Take Bronze And Book Olympic Relay Spot For GB

 

Alongside some of his fellow high divers, Heslop’s drive to execute more and more difficult dives is driving this incredible sport on to greater heights – and that is something he hopes can continue.

“Being at the forefront of some of the biggest dives that people are doing nowadays is fun – it’s risky, but it’s fun,” he said.

“We are throwing these big dives that are most of the times within our limits, and we know what those are. But to deliver those in competition is a completely different story.

“I really like the position I’m in right now, and what I am doing to help develop the sport and develop those bigger dives.”

Hector Pardoe Ready For Olympic Redemption In Paris After Stunning Swim

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