Youngest European Diving Champion From Ukraine
He won a gold medal after diving from a 10-meter tower without a splash, winning the Ukrainian team's 7th medal of the championship.
Oleksiy Sereda performed six jumps from a 10-meter diving tower at the European championship. With 488.85 points he became the youngest European champion in the history of the sport. Oleksiy himself pays more attention to his technique than to the celebration.
“I thought I would reach the finals and that’s it. I knew I had performed my tasks. I got my license for the Olympics. I thought that whatever happens, I`ll just try my best, and somehow I landed in the first place,” he said.
Oleksiy has been participating in sports since he was four. First, he started swimming and then it was suggested he try platform diving. His current coach, Tetiana Pohrebna saw his potential, and she wasn’t mistaken.
“He tries every time to perform a dive without a splash but does not always succeed. He does possess the qualities that ensure he makes a clean dive,” she said.
To achieve success, this young athlete trains six days a week. He spends six hours a day in the pool. Oleksiy says that training is fun, so he trains with his sister. For now, she is just a champion of Ukraine, but she wants to be just like her brother.
Four years ago the pool where Oleksiy was training was closed. His family had to move to Kyiv. Now they basically live in two cities. Oleksiy’s mother is proud of her son’s achievements but admits that every tournament worries her son.
“I heaved a sigh of relief when he performed his last jump. First of all, I made a sign of the cross, I was counting every jump and telling myself that he just has to dive 6 times and we are going back home. Of course, I was very emotional, this week was very hard,” she said.
Intensive training and persistence have won Oleksiy a lot of medals, so many in fact that he lost count of them. He says that counting medals are considered a bad omen among athletes.
For the next two weeks, the young champion will be resting with his family, but starting in September, he will start grueling preparations for the Olympic games that will be held in 2020 in Tokyo.