Knight-Wisdom, Eskrick-Parkinson take aim at World Champs, Commonwealth Games 2022
With diver Yohan Eskrick-Parkinson the newest athlete to join the Jamaican ranks, Aquatic Sports Association of Jamaica president Martin Lyn is cautiously optimistic about the possibility of being a part of synchronised diving at the 2022 Commonwealth Games.
Eskrick-Parkinson, who was born in Calgary, Canada, is the latest diver to indicate a willingness to represent Jamaica, and could join Olympian Yona Knight-Wisdom. The pair competed at the Scottish National Championships earlier this month, placing second in the 3m synchro, their first opportunity to compete and train together.
While excited at the possibilities that this now presents the sport in Jamaica, Lyn said the duo will have to continue proving they can work as a team, and get through qualifying first to ensure the dream can be made a reality.
“They have already proven that they can do it but the level of the Commonwealth Games is much higher. The first thing they have to do is to get into some competition that qualifies them to get there. And then obviously, we would be elated to be able to have that showcased as a new Jamaican adventure because we’ve never had something like that before. That would certainly be a great area to be able to have synchronised diving at the Commonwealth Games. But I think we are a little way off yet,” Lyn told The Gleaner.
THE IDEAL TEAMMATE
It is an opportunity that has excited Knight-Wisdom who, for years, has been the lone beacon representing the country in the sport. He says that Eskrick-Parkinson is the ideal teammate and can give them a good chance of competing in the discipline.
“I think it would be brilliant if we could. After three days of training it’s incredible that I have found another diver that can match me physically and is also at a good enough level to be able to match me in terms of ability,” Knight-Wisdom said.
“So I think trying to get to the Commonwealth is a must for us. And other than that, the World Championships is definitely an option. That is a little bit more straightforward because they (The World Swimming Federation) are not restrictive with allocations. There are options and we are just seeing what we can do the next time he comes over and trains a little bit more.”
It is an opportunity Lyn hopes will bear fruit as the administration continues its quest for funding for new diving equipment at the National Aquatic Centre (NAC) to continue the growth of the sport and also to develop local talent.
“If these two could present themselves as a viable synchronised diving duo, it would bring more publicity to us in Jamaica and certainly to diving and, of course, having more Jamaicans want to represent Jamaica. So that eventually, the powers will see it in their best interest to fund the diving boards at the NAC, so we can continue to have that as an alternate discipline in aquatics going forward,” Lyn said.