In just a few days, the main competition of the year for juniors in diving will begin. This December 2 to 9, Ukraine’s capital city, Kyiv, will bring together the top junior divers of the world for the FINA World Junior Diving Championships 2021.
For the fourth time in the last five years, the Sports Centre LIKO will host a top international sports event. However, unlike in 2018 where about 300 athletes from more than 50 countries took part in the same competition, this edition will welcome more than 100 athletes from 27 countries around the world.
It is no secret that the global coronavirus pandemic, which began at the end of 2019, severely slowed down the sporting world, even affecting the 2020 Olympic Games in Tokyo. Initially scheduled for 2020, this championship, like plenty of other international sports events, was postponed.
Remembering the WJDC2018
The FINA World Junior Diving Championships in 2018 was a real festival of sports as all continents of the world were represented. As many as 13 countries also replenished their medal piggy banks!
The competition was attended by a dozen celebrities and distinguished guests, including the Vice President of the NOC of Ukraine, the President of the Diving Federation of Ukraine, Igor Lysov, the then President of FINA Julio Maglione, the mayor of Kyiv, and the legendary boxer Vladimir Klitschko.
In the said competition, I distinctly remember the performance of the Colombian diver, Daniel Restrepo Garcia, who beat two representatives of China in the Boys Age Group A 3-meter springboard individual event.
It is also worth noting the gold medal won by the British team in the mixed team event, and the gold medal performance of the Canadians in the Boys A&B 3-meter synchronized springboard event.
What can we expect from the 2021 edition?
Initially, the number of countries wishing to participate in this edition was already noticeably smaller than in 2018 for obvious reasons. After some time, however, a number of other countries further withdrew their application citing the alarming COVID-19 situation in Ukraine and other accompanying circumstances.
On the other hand, the FINA World Junior Diving Championships 2021 still promises to be an exciting event in this pandemic era as most of the other competitions in the world are either canceled or postponed. Therefore, although not all countries will gather, we will still have a majority of teams who we expect to put on a show.
Where do we get updates?
What will Team Ukraine have?
The youth national team of Ukraine will be represented by seven athletes participating in 14 out of the 17 possible events. Two athletes come from Kyiv – the seniors European champion Ksenia Bailo and juniors European champion Anna Arnautova. Two more athletes hail from the Luhansk region – Danila Avanesov and Vladislav Klimko. The other two athletes are residents of Mykolaiv – Bogdan Chizhovsky and Danilo Konovalov. The top athlete and the legendary Ukrainian diver, Oleksii Sereda, the youngest ever seniors European Champion, will also perform at the World Junior Diving Championships 2021.
We asked the head coach of the Ukrainian national diving team Tamara Tokmachova about the plans for these competitions:
“It is a pity that the two-time medalist of the Youth Olympic Games in Buenos Aires, who is also a two-time senior’s European champion, Sofia Lyskun is not taking part since she was injured before the Olympic Games in Tokyo and is now undergoing rehabilitation.
We are also very sorry that we did not allow athletes born in 2007 to compete, so we have Kirill Bolyukh, who could compete for medals both on the platform and on the springboard. At the upcoming junior world championship, we look forward to the successful performance of our junior team leaders, who are the leaders of the main Ukrainian national diving team.”
Sports4world will cover events from the juniors championship in Kyiv. Stay tuned for the latest news in diving.
Edited by Aldo Tong
Also about diving: A Look Back at the UODC 2021