Goodfellow shaping up nicely ahead of busy year

Great Britain hopeful wins two golds and a silver at prestigious diving event

MELDRETH-based diving star Daniel Goodfellow returned from the prestigious Armada Cup in Plymouth at the weekend with three medals to his name.

The 15-year-old, who was recently signed up by the Great Britain Elite Development Squad and is a possible future Olympic hopeful, travelled down to the south west with his fellow Cambridge Dive Team members and wowed onlookers with his stunning technical prowess.

He won an impressive three-metre springboard gold and narrowly missed the one metre top slot, knocked into silver by his synchro partner, Sam Thornton from Bradford. But perhaps the biggest thrill of the Plymouth meet was the Blue Riband event of the Men’s 16-plus platform, in which Goodfellow saved his best dive until last.

Daniel got into the six-way final, but his first dive – a front three-and-a-half somersaults with pike, with a degree of difficulty of three – was not up to his usual standard. The next – a back one-and-a-half with one-and-a-half twists – couldn’t repair the damage. So it was down to the last dive – a back three-and-a-half somersaults with tuck – an immensely hard dive worth a degree difficulty of 3.3. However it paid off as his highly-impressive dive earned top marks from the astounded judges and he was awarded his second gold medal of the day.

His coach, Marc Holdsworth, said: “I was really worried. It was only the sixth time he had ever done it. Divers have to see a spot in their environment as they dive to tell them where they are as they fly through the air at 35 miles an hour. If you can’t do it you can’t control your body and may hit the water flat.

“Dan is an unusual diver as he can spot but also feel where he is. He was reluctant to do the dive in the practices because it might have gone wrong and put him off entirely. I made him do it once at Plymouth in training. Then he had to do it for real. It’s so complex it merits a 3.3 degree of difficulty – one of the highest possible. It’s really scary for the coach to see his diver up there preparing.”

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Goodfellow has a busy year coming up, as he will link up with the junior elites in April before going onto Dresden for the Youth International competition for qualification for the European Championships in Austria in the summer. And if he is successful he could find himself travelling to Australia for the Junior World Championships.