Diver Tanya Watson embraced the crowd after tenth place finish at Commonwealth Games

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Commonwealth Games - Diving - Women's 10m Platform - Final - Sandwell Aquatics Centre, Birmingham, Britain - August 4, 2022 Northern Ireland's Tanya Rachel Watson in action REUTERS/Stefan Wermuth
Commonwealth Games - Diving - Women's 10m Platform - Final - Sandwell Aquatics Centre, Birmingham, Britain - August 4, 2022 Northern Ireland's Tanya Rachel Watson in action REUTERS/Stefan Wermuth

By James Reid in Birmingham

TANYA Watson nearly never got into diving if her coach had listened to her dad.

The 20-year-old’s concerned parent wrote a letter to Watson’s diving coach demanding she never be allowed to try the 10m platform as a nine-year-old.

But his request fell on deaf ears, and just as well as Watson registered a tenth-place finish in the 10m platform at the Commonwealth Games on Thursday.

Born in Southampton but representing Northern Ireland, it was Watson’s second major Games after competing in Tokyo a year ago.

And Dublin-based diver is simply embracing being back in front of a crowd after so long away, and after she may have never been allowed to be on the platform at all.

“Me and my dad laugh about it now,” said Watson.

“It was great to have a crowd because at the Olympics we had no crowd, I’ve not had a crowd in two and a half years – it was amazing.

“It’s great that my family are here, it’s been an amazing experience. I’ve learned to enjoy a crowd again.”

Watson was solid throughout the competition that saw England’s Andrea Spendolini-Siriex take gold ahead of compatriot Lois Toulson, with Canada’s Caeli McKay clinching bronze.

Her fourth dive saw her score just 37.80 to see her slip down the rankings, and the Oxford University student admits there is plenty to work on, especially when in front of a crowd.

“Getting used to the crowd, it’s about making sure you really focus after that cheer, as you’re the only one who can make it a good dive,” reflected Watson, who combines her diving with her chemistry studies at St Peter’s College.

“I had a good first few rounds but unfortunately one or two of my dives weren’t as good as I would want.

“I need to remember to keep my focus when I’m on the board.”

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