The Ukrainian Open Diving Cup (UODC) 2021 just concluded in Kyiv. While it may seem like an insignificant event, the competition actually attracted the attention of many as more than 90 athletes from six countries participated. This article follows up to the previous one we wrote about the event announcement and expectations of this competition.
A lot has happened at Sports Center “LIKO” as the competition lasted for six days. We highlight the important events below.
Fairy Giving “Master of Sports” Title
In the Team Event, Anna Arnautova and Daniil Avanesov successfully completed all their dives and gained good points on their way to gold.
On the win, Arnautova shared: “Before the warm-up in the gym, I tried to support Danilo… calm him down so that he would not worry. After each dive, we didn’t talk to concentrate, and after that, I thanked him for his work… said that he was great.”
In addition to gold, Avanesov also achieved the “master of sports” title after his performance in this competition. The “master of sports” title is given to the number one ranked athlete in the country. “I am like a fairy, giving the ‘master of sports’ title to others. Three athletes have already fulfilled this standard with me: Vlad Klimko, Kirill Bolyukh and now Danilo,” summed up Arnautova.
Lack of Competition in Synchronized Events
On the second day of the competition, the new duo Viktoriya Kesar and Anna Arnautova took the gold in the Women’s 3m Springboard Synchronized with 274.56 points.
The pair of Oleh Serbin and Oleksii Sereda had no equal in the Men’s 10m Platform Synchronized. They finished with a total of 411.06 points, more than 60 points clear of the Armenian pair of Vartan Bayanduryan and Vladimir Harutyunyan who placed second.
In the Women’s 10m Platform Synchronized, only two pairs competed as Ukrainian top bets Ksenia Baylo and Sofia Lyskun could not compete due to Baylo’s injury. As such, it was Maria Kravchuk and Maria Sereda, six points ahead of a duo Alina Babaeva and Violeta Sverchkova.
Ilya Trushin won gold in the Men’s 1m Springboard event. It was a tight battle with a vastly improved Danil Konovalov but Trushin prevailed with a difference of only two points – 384.35 versus 382.05 points.
Trushin shared his thoughts: “I am pleased with the result. This is my record number of points. Recently, I have a program with a higher DD, and, in principle, I have succeeded. The only thing is that one dive, which I usually do well, was not very successful today, but everything is fine.”
Golden Triple for Arnautova
The third day of UODC 2021 featured the Men’s 3m Springboard Synchronized and the Women’s 1m Springboard Individual event.
Emerging victorious in the Men’s 3m Springboard Synchronized was Oleksandr Gorshkovozov and Oleg Kolodiy (383.61 points). This was not without difficulty as they had to beat another good team of Danil Konovalov and Bogdan Chizhovsky (368.25 points). The bronze medal went to Sandro Melikidze and Tornike Onikashvili (322.83 points) of Georgia.
Gorshkovozov and Kolodiy commented on their performance: “There were no international competitions for a very long time, so there was excitement. Today we did not succeed in everything. We wanted to improve every dive, and we will work on it.” They added: “…that there was a good competition on the springboard today; other guys made us worried.”
The third day of UODC 2021 was capped off by the Women’s 1m Springboard Individual event. An experienced Anna Pismenskaya had a hard time as her competitors proved to be a handful. Therefore, up until the last jump, there was intrigue as to who would become the champion.
In this event, the young athlete from Kyiv, Anna Arnautova, did her best to successfully get her third gold in this Cup with 273.55 points. “Of course, I’m happy, but I’m a little tired because every day I have events. I will try to keep the bar that I have raised for myself,” the champion commented.
Luhansk region’s Pismenskaya (265.60) and Taisiya Cherednichenko (227.85 points) wound up second and third, respectively.
Personal Records Mark Day 4
The first event of the fourth day of competition was the Women’s 3m Springboard Individual event. Victoria Kesar (318.90 points) did not meet much resistance from either Anna Pismenskaya (280.80 points) or Anna Arnautova (260.35 points), thus confirming her leadership in both the preliminary and final rounds and winning gold.
“In principle, I am satisfied with my performance today. We plan to prepare for the April World Cup in Tokyo,” Kesar shared immediately after the competition.
In the other event of the day, the Men’s 10m Platform Individual, an incredible final was presented to all diving fans. From the participants’ lined up in the event, one could assume that there will be a tight match for the gold.
Oleksii Sereda, the youngest European champion in history, performed a new, higher degree of difficulty (DD) program and delivered incredible results. Sereda scored a personal record of 519.75 points to become champion of the UODC 2021.
“I’m happy with my performance, but some of the dives could have been better. Now I have a new program, but I am not yet very stable in making it good. I have something to work on. For the Olympic Games, I will add another dive which I am already practicing. The competition was tough today; it was not easy to win,” Oleksii shared with us.
Oleg Serbin (443.45 points) won silver with a personal record of his own. The competition’s bronze medalist was Vladimir Harutunyan (398.20 points) of Armenia, who happens to have the most difficult diving program of all competitors.
Either Too Much or Too Few
On the fifth day of the UODC 2021, there was a clear imbalance in the number of participants for the two events lined up. While there were 39 participants in the Men’s 3m Springboard preliminaries, only 5 participants took part in the Women’s 10m Platform event.
The absence of Sofia Lyskun, Ksenia Bailo, and Nika Shurda in the Women’s 10m Platform event gave Sasha Levitskaya an opportunity to prove herself, which she did. Though not the most outstanding performance with 236 points, she did secure first place.
Levitskaya herself was not very happy with her performance: “I’m glad I won gold, but I’m not satisfied with my dives. Screws failed today. I will prepare further. In March, there will be a selection for the European Youth Championship.”
The second and third places were taken by Alina Babaeva (187.00 points) and Violeta Sverchkova (164.00 points).
The most unpredictable event for UODC 2021 was the Men’s 3m Springboard. Real passions boiled here. And, as a result, a sensation was born. The heavy favorite of the event, Oleg Kolodiy, finished only third with 367.55 points and was outclassed by thirteen-year-old Kirill Bolyukh (371.95 points) and seventeen-year-old Bogdan Chyzhovskiy (374.20 points).
“In the training process, the emphasis was on synchro, which is why I turned out so unstable in the individual now. But nothing to complain about. I will be more aggressive as we prepare and train further,” Kolodiy commented on his performance.
The newly minted champion Chyzhovskiy also had a few words about his success: “While I performed well, I actually just wanted to put a difficult dive into the program but I haven’t trained it properly yet. In previous competitions, I was a little upset that it was not on the list of my program. My coach said it would be better to dive the easier program but do it cleaner, and she was right. Compared to the December championship, it was easier for me to dive; there were more confidence and desire.”
Young Guns Take Over
The final day of UODC 2021 included the Mixed 3m Springboard, which had 9 pairs, and the Mixed 10m Platform, which only had 3 pairs. In these events, the young athletes tried to prove themselves and compete for medals.
Topping the Mixed 3m Springboard event was the duo of Diana Karnafel and Mark Barsukov (221.46 points). They finished ahead of Sasha Levitskaya and Danil Mokretsov (212.97 points). Evgenia Lukashenko and Kirill Pataev took third place (192.57 points).
Only three pairs took part in the Mixed 10m Platform event. The more experienced tandem of Alina Babaeva and Andrey Telebzda collected 224.31 points to finish ahead of the duo of Maria Sereda and Timur Khaliman (179.40 points), and the duo of Sasha Levitskaya and Artem Romanovsky (175.22 points).
Diving Ukraine Covers the UODC 2021
All six days were broadcasted live on the YouTube channel “Diving Ukraine.” Current and former athletes, coaches, and various diving professionals acted as guest commentators for the coverage. All broadcasts are available on the channel at any time for your viewing pleasure.
Thank you for being with us all six days of the Ukrainian Open Diving Cup 2021. See you soon!
Edited by Aldo Tong