SASI divers ready for a new challenge

SASI divers ready for a new challenge

Two promising SASI divers are set to take on international challengers in big events in China, Canada and Russia.

Two of the SA Sports Institute's (SASI) outstanding divers are ready to mix it with the best divers in the world at coming international competitions.

Matthew Carter, 16, has been selected to compete at the FINA/NVC Diving World Series 3 in Kazan, Russia, between March 31 and April 2. He then travels to Canada where he will be joined by SASI's Taneka Kovchenko to compete at the FINA Diving Grand Prix in Gatineau, Canada, between April 6 and 9.  

Taneka is currently competing in China at the FINA/NVC Diving Worlds Series where she's experiencing the new mixed 10m synchro event with Queensland diver Domonic Bedggood.

SASI head diving coach Michel Larouche said it was exciting times ahead for the duo on national teams.

"This is the level now they have to aim for,'' he said. "These events are very important as we are now in the Olympic cycle first year.

"Training has been very good and is going to plan. This is going to be a good experience for them.''

Larouche will be one of two Australian coaches attending the Gatineau event.

Taneka, 21, of Mitchell Park said she couldn't wait to test herself against the best.

"I went there (Gatineau) last year and it was my first international event and was definitely exciting,'' she said.

"Things didn't go to plan as I fractured my thumb and didn't perfom as I would have liked but it was a big learning curve.

"I learned a lot about competition, handling jet lag and preparation.

"In Canada the media exposure is so much bigger than here. I am looking forward to that and just being exposed to the whole event.

"I am aiming to make a final.''

The event in Canada will feature all eight of the Olympic diving events - the 3m, 10m, 3m synchro and 10m synchro with two mixed synchro diving events in each of the 3m and 10m events.

Taneka studies Human Movement at Uni SA, works part time and coaches young divers through programs at Diving SA.

For Matthew of Rose Park the international events will further his development in the sport with his inclusion on the national senior squad.

His mother Kathryn said the Year 11 Pembroke student was excited about the journey ahead.

"It is a huge thrill for Matthew and a buzz for him that so many people think he is good enough to be competing at that level,'' she said.

"It will be a bit tough juggling school and his competitions but he has had so much support from everywhere. Pembroke also is 100 percent supportive and very flexible about his travelling and competitions. Matthew has been travelling and flying since he was 10 so he is used to that now.''

Matthew tackles 2017 backed by an outstanding effort at the World Junior Diving championships in Kazan in December last year. There, he won a bronze medal in the boys 3-metre springboard A final and a bronze in the boys 1-metre springboard A final behind divers from China and Russia.

After the events in Kazan and Canada SASI divers will prepare for the national championships in May.

The titles serve as trials for selection for the world championships in Budapest in July this year.

Contact: Gordon Armstrong

Phone: 8457 1453