The main competition for Ukrainian diving in 2020 will take place this Monday, December 14. Why is the Ukrainian Diving Championships the main event this year? It’s simple. to explain: all international competitions, starting April 2020 were cancelled. Our elite athletes have since been on stand-by, eagerly waiting for news from international federations regarding next season’s competition calendar.
With strict health measures and travel restrictions still being enforced globally, the International Swimming Federation (FINA) and the European Swimming League (LEN) are both left with no option but to suspend activities in 2020. However, as the year ends, the 2021 calendar was finally unveiled.
The most important event for the national team, outside, of course, the Tokyo Olympics, will be the World Cup in April 2021, also to be held in Tokyo, Japan. This event, will, in fact, serve as the final qualifiers for the Olympic Games. At the beginning of the year, there will also be several World Series events, which are essential platforms for gaining competitive experience and “running in” the current programs of athletes.
Given these big events in 2021, we draw our attention back to the main event of 2020 – the Ukrainian Diving Championships. The competitions will be held from 14 to 19 December at the capital’s sports complex, “LIKO,” which is also the main training hub of the Ukrainian national team. This event is also significant because all the Ukrainian national athletes will take part in it. This includes 2019 European champions and youth sensations, Sofia Lyskun, 18, and Oleksii Sereda, 14.
A “New Body”
“At this event, the main aim for me is not to win the Championship: first of all, I want to try out my new dives – 307C and 6245D. I also plan to include 109C to my competition program in the future. Over the fall, I grew by three centimeters, and all in all, ten after the European Championship 2019. It will be somewhat unusual to dive in a “new body” even after a while. My new year plans are to perform well in all international competitions, showing dives of 9 points and higher,” shared his plans Oleksii Sereda, the 2019 European Diving Champion.
Raring to Return
On the other hand, Oleksandr Gorshkovozov, former European champion, World Championships medalist, and two-time Olympics finalist, has this to say: “In the upcoming Championships, I will be performing in synchronized diving 3m springboard with Oleg Kolodiy. During my career, I have participated in more than thirty Ukrainian Championships, perhaps even forty. Despite many years of experience in performances, I think that this will be more exciting than usual because this will be my first start in the last half year.”
Oleksandr also answered a few more questions.
– What are your most vivid memories of national competitions?
– The most vivid memories were when I fulfilled the standard for the number of points in an individual at the Championship of Ukraine in 2016, 479 points on a 3-meter springboard. Then I felt that I could compete well in the European and World Championships with the leading athletes. But unfortunately, something went wrong. I think it wasn’t easy to combine 3 meters individual, 3 meters synchro springboard, and a synchro platform.
– What can you say about your partner in synchro?
– With Oleg, we have been diving for several years. I’m used to my partner, it’s comfortable to dive, and I think there is every chance to go to the Olympic Games in Tokyo. But for this to happen, we need to first qualify through the April World Cup in Tokyo.
– What plans and goals do you have for the coming year?
– There are plans to go to the World Series and compete in them successfully. Ultimately, the goal is to get an Olympic qualification and perform successfully.
Meanwhile, Anna Pismenskaya, the 2017 European Champion and three-time Olympic finalist, relates to us the same goal: “At the Ukrainian Diving Championships, I will be diving synchronously on a 3m springboard with my teammate Vika Kesar. For us, there is nothing new. We have been diving together for a long time, and it’s hard to say which championship in succession. There have been many of them in my career since the mid-2000s. But I think this will be special since we have all not competed for a long time. I want to plunge into this atmosphere again. For me, the main goal in the coming year will be to qualify and get to the Olympic Games in Tokyo.”
From the city of Mariupol, Nika Shurda comments that “These competitions are very important for me because based on their results, a team for the World Cup will be formed for Tokyo … Of course, you need to give your best. This CH will be the first start to show my new complicated program after a hand injury that I received several years earlier. After, I did not dive the platform in competitions until the upcoming starts. Therefore, I worry a little more than usual, all the dives are not yet perfect, but I am trying! At these competitions, I will dive at the platform and on the 1m springboard and the platform and the synchro springboard and Team Event. I do not plan to increase my diving to DD next year; I want to polish the program. By the way, It’s not usual without fans in the stands. I want the quarantine to end as soon as possible. People could come to our competitions and watch the new achievements of athletes.”
The Ukrainian Diving Championships will definitely be one to watch as, according to national team head coach Tamara Tokmachova, “To get into the main team, you need to land at least 6th place in the final and show sufficient total points or difficulty coefficient.” Athletes will definitely have to quickly shake the rust off of the long layoff but also rise to the occasion. This event will also be an excellent opportunity for young athletes to prove themselves and show new dives. (source – df-ua.org)
Schedule (East European Time)
- 18:00 – Mixed Team Event (final) ONLINE
- 10:00 – Platform (prelims, women)
- Springboard 3м (prelims, men)
- 16:00 – Platform (final, women) ONLINE
- Springboard 3м (final, men) ONLINE
- 10:00 – Platform (prelims, men)
- Springboard 3м (prelims, women)
- 16:00 – Platform (final, men) ONLINE
- Springboard 3м (final, women) ONLINE
- 10:00 – Springboard 1м (prelims, women)
- Springboard 1м (prelims, men)
- 16:00 – Springboard 1м (final, women) ONLINE
- Springboard 1м (final, men) ONLINE
- 10:00 – Platform synchro (final, men) ONLINE
- Springboard 3м synchro (final, women) ONLINE
- 16:00 – Springboard 3м synchro (final, men) ONLINE
- Platform synchro (final, women) ONLINE
- 10:00 – Springboard 3м synchro mixed (final) ONLINE
- Platform synchro mixed (final) ONLINE
Due to the pandamic, the presence of fans at the competition is limited. The good news is that everyone will be able to follow the progress of the Ukrainian Diving Championship online on the YouTube channel, Instagram, as well as on the website of the Ukrainian Diving Federation.
Furthermore, in succeeding publications, we will summarize the results of the competition and show highlights of the event. Stay with us.