Dingley diving in at the Rio deep end

by James Hendicott
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OLIVER Dingley waxed lyrical about the support he’s received in Ireland after converting from representing the UK, as he spoke to GazetteSport at the Irish kit launch last week.
The NAC diver is set to be Ireland’s first Olympic diving representative in 68 years when he appears in Rio later this summer.
The English-born diver, who qualifies for Ireland via a grandparent, missed out in 2012 despite having finished in qualifying position in the British team’s selection process, being overlooked in favour of the diver who finished one place below him.
Dingley has since realigned himself with Ireland, and relocated to Dublin 15.
It’s important to Dingley, in part because of Ireland’s relative lack of diving pedigree, he does things the right way for his new country.
“I always wanted to do it properly,” Dingley said of the move. “I wanted to use Irish facilities and train with an Irish team.
“I’m very lucky that there’s a facility where I’m able to do that in the National Aquatic Centre.
“There’s only one diving facility in the Republic of Ireland. I’m very lucky that Swim Ireland, Sports Ireland and the Olympic council have all been very accommodating.”
Dingley’s also pleased with the facilities on offer in general, highlighting his range of options. “At the institute of sports where I base all my training I’m able to use a psychologist or a nutritionist or a physio as part of my training.
“The National Sports Campus is almost a building site at the moment, but it’s really exciting with different things popping up, but I’m able to be part of that because I live there.
“I’m very proud, and very lucky to be able to stand on a stage and represent Ireland, wearing the Irish tracksuit amongst so many amazing athletes,” Dingley said.
“It’s not about 2012 anymore. It’s a different story now.
“Diving looks amazing when you get it right, and when you get it wrong, and we all get it wrong sometimes.
“There are some very talented divers across the country, a generation ready to. come through. I’ll have to watch out!”
As for the big event itself? Dingley is determined not to get ahead of himself. “My qualification event was in Rio,” he recalls. “You had to come in the top 18 in the world out of 65, so that was a lot of pressure.
“While I’ve never been to an Olympics, you can take those big experiences through and learn from them.
“Some of the best divers in the world didn’t make it. I’ve heard so many different stories I don’t really know what to expect.
“Everyone has a target, but I always take it one dive at a time.”

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