Cowens make big splash at diving

Keighley News: Jenny Cowen, left, with Rebecca Gallantree after winning silver in the British Gas Diving Championships Jenny Cowen, left, with Rebecca Gallantree after winning silver in the British Gas Diving Championships

Cross Roads’ Jenny Cowen followed up her brother Matt’s high diving success by winning a silver-medal in the British Gas Diving Championships last weekend.

Matt was a surprise qualifier in the Red Bull Cliff Diving World Series earlier this month in Australia, which sees contestants jumping from heights of up to 28 metres.

And Jenny put her name in lights herself by claiming second place in the ten-metre synchronised event with Rebecca Gallantree.

Competing at the Plymouth Life Centre, the City of Leeds duo scored 304.14 points to finish behind European champions Tonia Couch and Sarah Barrow, who beat their own British record from the Olympic trials with 327.66 in defending their title.

Jenny, aged 21, said: “We were pleased to get silver as it was only the second time we have competed together.

“Becky was on the (three-metre) springboard at the Olympics but has switched to tower diving. We are at the same club so it works particularly well with training.

“It was a close competition but Tonia and Sarah are a lot more experienced than me and Becky.

“We hope this is just the start for us as we are going to China and Dubai for the world series in March.”

Her brother Matt, aged 25, is also set to compete on the world stage after finishing in fifth place in a tense qualification competition, which took place in front of more than 1,000 fans on the Hawkesbury River in Cattai, New South Wales.

He had only been a wildcard entry yet finished just two places behind fellow Brit and Olympian Blake Aldridge, a former diving partner of Tom Daley.

Jenny said: “Matt was certainly not expecting to qualify as he was only going as a spectator but he got a wildcard and has managed to qualify so he is over the moon.”

Matt – currently in France taking part in the French version of television celebrity diving show Splash – is now building up his fitness in preparation for the competition which is held in eight different venues across the world.

He will join champion Gary Hunt, Orlando Duque, Steven Lobue, Artem Silchenko and David Colturi at the opening event at the French port of La Rochelle on May 25.

Other countries he will compete in include Denmark, Portugal, USA, Thailand and Brazil.

Meanwhile, Jenny followed up her silver with fourth place in the women’s ten-metre final at Plymouth with a score of 287.05 points, behind Couch (365.20), Barrow (297.25) and teenager Georgia Ward (292.90).

The former Parkside School pupil said: “I was a bit disappointed with that. I dropped points on a dive I usually get right.”

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