Ponds Forge a hit with divers

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THE USA diving team were put through their paces in Sheffield ahead of this summer’s Olympic Games.

The team is using Ponds Forge as their training camp before heading to London next week to compete for places at this summer’s Olympics.

The official Olympic diving test event is in London (February 20-26,) where teams will qualify for places at the London games.

High performance director Steve Foley was on hand to watch members of his team go through their paces.

He was full of admiration for the Sheffield facilities, venue for the World Student Games in 1991 and Europe’s deepest diving pool at 5.8m.

He said: “Sheffield is the perfect venue for us to train. We love it, everyone is happy. A couple have dived here before. Everyone likes it here. It is a nice big venue, which is important because the Olympic stadium itself is a very big pool, so it is important to train and duplicate as much as we can in a similar environment.”

The diving coach said he was hoping to qualify for every diving event at the Olympics.

“That is the biggest challenge. There’s not many qualification spots left and everyone is going to be fighting for those positions. That’s the main aim: qualify first and then try and focus on the medals.”

The team, brought to the city by a council-led partnership of Sheffield organisations, also took time out of their training schedule to coach local children from Sheffield Council’s Diving Training Scheme.

Mr Foley said his team were hoping to “put something back into the community”.

Diver Troy Dumais said: “It’s great to be back in Sheffield. We have everything we need here in Sheffield to give us the best chance.”