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  • Gabby Laurent

Ross Haslam: Success at the European Games for one of our own

Member of the City of Sheffield diving team, Ross Haslam, ended his 8 year wait for a European Games medal after a fantastic display in the Men’s 1m Springboard competition, resulting in his first Gold medal ever at the games.

At the end of May, I went to watch live diving for the very first time, right here at Ponds Forge in Sheffield. The British Championships clearly served as a good opportunity for the divers to prove themselves on a national level, with the prospect of international selection looming large.

All of the best British divers stepped up to the board, including Sheffield born, Ross Haslam. It has been a tough four years for Haslam. He has suffered a series of injuries, including a stress fracture in his lower back and a shoulder surgery, but he did not let that hold him back. I was absolutely in awe of his talent, and the way he continued to improve on the dive before. He secured the Men’s 1m Springboard victory and, shortly after, added to his gold medal collection with the 3m synchro gold.

It was no surprise to me that after his performance at Ponds Forge, he was selected for the recent European Games in Rzeszów, Poland. Sat in my living room, with the live stream on my TV, I watched in anticipation as one of our own, Ross Haslam stepped up to the 1m springboard. He had a steady start, finding himself in the middle of the table after three dives.

He was in a comfortable position, but it was his fourth-round dive that sprung him to the gold medal position with a score of 74.25 for his fantastic forward 3 ½ somersaults pike. It was an astonishing dive that I truly believed could not be topped. Haslam himself, proved me wrong when he saved his best dive for last, scoring 78.20 points, securing his first European Games medal since a synchro silver in 2015.

Afterwards, I read what Ross Haslam had to say to British Swimming on an emotional day, “I would really like to think this is the little steppingstone I need to keep going now.”

Something I love about diving is that it is so accessible to watch for fans across the world. Throughout both competitions so far this summer, a free live stream has been offered for fans to watch meaning that you never have to miss a moment of the action, despite the games being in all different parts of the world.

Whilst the European Games have concluded, British Swimming have confirmed the 11 athletes chosen to represent Team GB at the World Championships in Fukuoka, Japan. The team includes talented Sheffield divers, Yasmin Harper and Jordan Houlden with their competitions having just kicked off recently, on the 14th of July.


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