Sheffield diver tipped for Olympic Games continues fine progress at Junior European Diving Championships

A Sheffield diver tipped for the top continued her fine progress with a gold medal-winning performance at an international competition.

By Steve Jones
Sunday, 4th July 2021, 12:35 pm

Maisie Bond from Broomhill, who is just 14, topped the judges’ scorecard in the Girls B platform final at the Junior European Diving Championships in Croatia last week.

The former Tapton School pupil has been diving since the age of three and recently left mainstream education to study online and dedicate more time to her training at City of Sheffield Diving Club, based at Ponds Forge International Sports Centre.

She is national champion in all events for her age category and has been tipped to win Olympic medals.

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14-year-old Sheffield girl Maisie Bond has won gold at the European Junior Diving Championships. Picture: Chris Etchells

"It’s been a difficult year so to have such a fantastic result with Maisie at the end of it is a bit of a lift for the club,” said Tom Owens, head coach at City of Sheffield Diving Club.

"She basically didn’t put a foot wrong throughout.

"She had seven dives in the preliminary round and three for the final. They were all ripped entries, which is what you are aiming for – not to make a splash. To do that after 18 months without competition is pretty phenomenal.”

The youngster added: “It was really nice. I just want to carry on, my main goal is to get to the Olympics to do the 10 metre event.”

Maisie’s mum, Anita, said: “I’m pleased for her and Tom, and the club because so much hard work has gone in to keep it going.

"It’s a great result all round.”

Maisie, who is the youngest of four siblings, also competed at senior level in the 2020 national championships and finished fifth in the preliminary round.

She said: "I was really pleased with that.

“It was quite strange competing against people that we see on the news like Lois Toulson who goes to the Olympics, but it didn't feel too weird about the age because I train with 21 year olds.”

The teenager is one of of six divers based at Ponds Forge who train full-time, six days a week.

Jordan Houlden, Ross Haslam, Yasmin Harper, and Claire Cryan make up City of Sheffield’s team of elite divers, who are all aiming to qualify for the 2022 Commonwealth Games and are in a “good place” to do so, Tom said.