In at the deep endSubscribe
Rob Burgess 16 March 2001
THE SEVENTH FINA Diving Grand Prix gets underway today at the Manchester Aquatics Centre. The event, which finishes on Sunday, is the third round of the prestigious thirteen-stage competition.
Britain’s Olympic divers will face tough competition from fifteen other nations. Leon Taylor and Peter Waterfield, who finished fourth in Sydney in the 10 metre synchronised event, are both entered, along with former European 3 metre champion Tony Ally.
Taylor will go head-to-head with 12-year-old Chinese diving prodigy Xinhua Zhang in the 10-metre platform event. Zhang won the same event in the first round of the Grand Prix in Germany earlier this year.
Ally will take part in the 3 metre springboard event. Ally missed the recent national championships because of illness, and in his absence 18-year-old Blake Aldridge dived to Gold despite having a broken wrist. The two Britons will face each other in Manchester.
Jane Smith and Karen Smith will fly the British flag in the women’s events, and Taylor and Waterfield will resume their Olympic partnership in the 10 metre synchronised event on Sunday evening.
MEANWHILE A selection of the world’s finest indoor athletes are flying into Glasgow for the Norwich Union International on Sunday – the climax to the indoor athletics season.
The Scottish public will get the chance to see ten new world champions from the recent Lisbon World Indoor Championships in action, plus seven young Scottish athletes making their international debuts.
Among the British stars on display are Mark Lewis-Francis, Daniel Caines, Jonathan Edwards and Catherine Murphy. They will be joined by a host of international talent, including Italy’s Paolo Camossi (triple jump world indoor champion), Juliet Campbell of Jamaica (200m world indoor champion) and double Olympic long jump champion Heike Drechsler, making perhaps her final appearance in front of a British crowd.
THE BRITISH Cycling Federation’s World Class Performance Programme women’s endurance squad are currently in Italy preparing for the Giro dei Communi and Primavera Rosa world cup races.
And in rugby union the Six Nations Championship forges ahead, despite the cancellation of the Ireland-England clash in Dublin. Wales and France meet in Paris and Scotland play Italy in Edinburgh. All four teams are desperate for a win to put their campaigns back on track after defeats in the earlier matches.