VICTORIA VINCENT says she is glad she didn’t turn her back on diving when an eye injury ended her promising career as a platform competitor.
Instead, the 16-year-old has switched her attentions to making a name for herself in the springboard events.
She showed her potential in the new discipline by finishing sixth overall and second junior in the one-metre event at the British Championships last weekend. She was also 15th in the three-metre event.
It may not yet be close to the success she enjoyed as a platform diver – she won the British senior title as a 13-year-old, competed at the 2014 Commonwealth Games and was a European junior title winner in 2016 – but Vincent is happy with the progress she is making in the new discipline.
The Plymouth College pupil initially suffered a detached retina in 2014 after competing at the Glasgow Commonwealth Games.
She successfully made a comeback from that and won a junior European title in 2016, but then suffered more problems.
“I had a few more eye operations, which meant that I wasn’t allowed to do platform anymore and meant I had to transfer to springboard,” said Vincent.
“It was quite tough. I didn’t really like springboard to start off with and, to be honest, I was not really sure whether I wanted to carry on with the diving or just focus on school.
“But I am glad I did carry on with it as I have come out with some good results. I got a PB on one-metre. My three-metre was not that great, but I got a PB as well as I’d never done it before.
“I have only really been doing the three-metre properly for two months, so just to come here and be able to complete these dives is enough for me really.”
On why she is unable to dive from the 10m board, Vincent said: “When you are diving from 10-metres it takes about three seconds to hit the water – you are going at 40mph. The pressure change is too much for my eye to take. My retina could detach again and it could end up with me being blind. It’s really not worth it.”
But instead of looking back at what might have been, Vincent is just looking forward and is determined to keep progressing.
She said: “This year I was not really focused on getting to the Commonwealths. I was more focusing on the junior side of things. I want to hopefully get to the junior worlds at the end of the year, but we’ll have to see how the (British) Junior Elites go later in the year.”