AFTER claiming the Junior European title Amersham diving star Kyle Kothari insists he is in the middle of the best year of his career.
The 16-year-old shocked even himself when he came out on top of the pile at the Junior European Championships in Bergamo, Italy, last month.
And Kothari had a double reason to celebrate as his success also secured his place at next month’s World Junior Championships in Russia where he hopes to repeat the trick.
With one dive to go in Italy, the Dr Challoner’s High School pupil knew what he had to do but admits he had to battle the nerves.
He said: “It was amazing because I wasn’t really expecting to do so well if I’m honest. When I was watching the competition I started to think more and more that if put in my best dive that I would have a chance.
“On my last dive I knew that I had to do really well to have a chance at winning and luckily I managed it.
“It was scary because I was up there knowing what I had to do so I just tried to stay calm and think about my training.
“That is the number one achievement of my career and now I have the chance to go to the worlds.
“This is without doubt the best year of my career and I want to keep it going. Before this year I was thinking it would take me a few years before I could medal at the Europeans but it has come around so quickly.
“If I dive to my absolute best at the Worlds then there is an chance I can make the podium.
“And then hopefully I can make the step up to senior level at some point and then my goal is to make it the Olympics.”
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. Keep up to date with the latest @YourSSE.