World Cup medals gives young diver plenty of spring

12 Dec 2016

Matthew Carter's successful trip to Kazan, Russia, for the FINA World Junior Diving Championship proved an eyeopener both in and out of the water.

The 16-year-old South Australian Sports Institute (SASI) star, part of a 15-person strong Australian squad (five from SA), won two bronze medals in the Boys A 1-metre springboard and 3-metre springboard finals respectively. He also teamed with Kurtis Matthews in the 3-metre synchro final to finish seventh.

But it was outside the pool which first captured Matthew's attention.

"I couldn't believe the snow,'' he said. "I had never been to Russia and to see the snow and to feel just how cold it was and then to see the pool which was so amazing. It was so cool.''

Leading into the competition Matthew wasn't sure where he stood in the pecking order in his events against so many strong countries with enormous diving depth.

But his confidence started to grow after a couple of solid dives.

"When I finished third in the preliminaries I thought I could be a chance for a medal,'' he said. "My goal early was to make a final then I thought maybe I could get a medal. Standing on the podium was amazing and it hit me then what I had done to do that. My coaches (Christian Brooker on site and Michel Larouche in Adelaide) and teammates were really happy and supportive. This was my biggest thrill.''

The short-term plan for Matthew of Rose Park is to keep training "as hard as possible'' with a couple of open grand prix events coming up.

Longterm the young gun is aiming to make the Commonwealth Games team at the Gold Coast in 2018 and the Tokyo Olympic Games in 2020.

Back in Adelaide it will be a return to the pool for plenty of training sessions, at least 10 times a week spread over the week. In early February the study books need to be dusted over as he returns to Pembroke School as an Year 11 student.

Matthew Carter