AMERSHAM diver Kyle Kothari has his sights firmly set on the world stage after overcoming exam stress to claim the British Elite Junior Championship 10m platform title in Plymouth.

The 16-year-old, who picked up the G-Star Championship title in Leeds last month, travelled simply looking to build towards selection for the European Junior Championships in Italy this July.

But despite being in the midst of his GCSEs at Dr Challoner’s Grammar School, Kothari smashed his previous personal best mark by 50 points in the preliminaries before bettering that with a score of 544.70 in the final.

Not only was the score further than the required European junior qualifying standard but it also surpassed the mark to make the British team for September’s world equivalent, leaving Kothari pleasantly surprised.

“I was just trying to get points towards the European junior qualification standard but then in the preliminaries I smashed that mark with 539.60 points and improved on that in the final to get 544,” he said.

“I was not expecting it at all because I have only been training once a week due to having GCSE exams. Normally I’m training a lot more but it’s been busy with exams.

“I thought I actually dived better in the preliminaries than in the final but the judges tend to score a bit higher because it is the final.

“My coach seemed pretty pleased, he does not really tend to say much but he told me well done. It ended up being a really good weekend, I should be selected for the Europeans now – we’ll just wait and see.”

And Kothari, who has a background in gymnastics, knows he needs to make sure he keeps the bar high if he wants to ensure selection for the major competitions on the calendar this summer.

“It’s about making that standard consistently now,” he added. “This is my first year in the GB set up; I had my first proper international in Dresden in Germany last month.

“It was the same people who are going to be competing at the European juniors. Things are going pretty well this year; I hope can keep pushing on.”

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