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Diving: Yona takes plunge for Jamaican ‘first’

With Usain Bolt and Yohan Blake spearheading the artillery, Jamaica are a force to be reckoned with at an Olympic Games.

Hoping to join them come Rio in 2016 is Leeds-born Jamaican diving star Yona Knight-Wisdom.

Knight-Wisdom, 17, is another rising talent from the City of Leeds Diving Club which sent an amazing contingent of seven to the World Junior Diving Championships in Australia this month.

Chapeltown’s Knight-Wisdom was one of them but unlike his Team GB team-mates the teenager was donning the yellow trunks of Jamaica.

The former Grammar School at Leeds pupil was born in Leeds but with dad Trevor and mum Grace born in Jamaica and Barbados respectively, competing for Britain was not the only option.

So now Knight-Wisdom is officially Jamaica’s number one diver – their only one – but a highly- talented individual who has high hopes of competing in Rio.

Explaining his unique story to LS1, Knight-Wisdom revealed: “Diving for Great Britain is at a really high standard at the moment with the likes of Jack Laugher and Tom Daley and all the other boys.

“It could be quite hard for me to get into the team at the internationals and my coach – Edwin Jongejans – believes that I can compete at these international events to a decent standard.

“He suggested that I switch to Jamaica and now I am Jamaica’s first ever male diver!

“If I was to make Rio in 2016 I would be the first ever Jamaican diver to compete in an Olympics so there’s quite a lot of history in it.

“That’s huge and it makes me excited and a bit nervous at the same time.

“But it also makes me proud to compete for that nation.”

Explaining how diving began, the talented teenager said: “I did gymnastics for nearly four years before I started diving and in 2004, when I was nine, the diving club from Leeds came to my school and did some gymnastic tests and stuff like that.

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