AMERSHAM diver Kyle Kothari is hoping to spring onto the podium at the European Junior Championships in Italy in July after a shock 10m platform win at the G-Star Championships in Leeds.

The 16-year-old Dr Challoner’s School pupil underlined his potential by taking victory just when he needed it most and has now set his sights high.

He said: “The Europeans is my main goal right now and I think I have a good chance to make the squad.

“My head coach has said that if I perform to a reasonable standard then I should get a medal as well.

“So that gives me confidence knowing that if I manage to do my absolute best I’ve got a good shot at the gold.”

Kothari’s expectations for Italy have been raised after his win in Leeds.

He said: “I definitely wasn’t expecting to win so it was a really nice surprise for me and shows that I’m going in the right direction.

“There was a lot of pressure to deal with because I knew I had to get it spot on so I just tried to keep calm and do what I have been doing in training.”

Kothari, who is a member of Crystal Palace Diving Club and has a background in gymnastics, has the difficult task of balancing his school life with his athletic pursuits.

With 32 hours a week training and GCSEs just around the corner, Kothari has to make sure he strikes the right balance – but he believes he will reap the benefits of doing so.

He said: “It’s pretty hard to be so disciplined because my friends will always ask if I want to go out but I’ve got to stay focused because it will be worth it in the end.

“But I’m always learning and I want to make a career out of diving and make it to at least one Olympics and hopefully more than that.

“I look up to people like Tom Daley who won the worlds at such a young age and that is something that I want to emulate.

“But there are divers from around the world that inspire me as well and I try to look at everyone and learn from them.

“I’m not sure if I can reach the level where I’m breaking world records but I want to make sure I get as close as I can.”

SSE are partnering with SportsAid to support the sporting stars of the future as part of their commitment to Glasgow 2014 and beyond with their SSE Next Generation ambassador programme.

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