Diving dynamo Ross Haslam believes that his commendable Commonwealth Games debut at the Gold Coast has put him in a “good place” going forward and is hoping to capitalise on his form in competitions to come.
The 20-year-old finished just shy of the medals in the 3m individual springboard final, finishing 4th, as well as putting in respectable performances in the synchronised 3m and the individual 1m events.
“Competing, it wasn’t the results I would have really dreamt for,” Haslam admitted. “But looking back, it’s all good experience.”
“Obviously it was nice to be the second best English diver, and it was good that I posted a pretty good score.”
Making his World Championships bow in 2017, and then his Commonwealth debut twelve months later – Haslam remains unfazed by his sudden injection into the diving spotlight. As one of the most exciting prospects in the sport, he was quick to gush about the comradery within the Team England camp.
“We always have a good team network, we like to do things together and I think that helps anyway,” he explained. “A lot of countries look on and see the exercises we’re doing and try and learn from what we’re doing, and we learn from other countries, too.”
Following his stint on the Gold Coast, Haslam was quickly back in action as he and new synchronised partner Grace Reid flew to China to compete in the Fina Diving World Cup, where earlier this month they clinched a bronze medal.
“It was mine and Grace’s first time doing the routine, we’d never even practised it before going to China,” the 20-year-old added. “You’ve just got to jump and help each other do the best dive you can do as a pair, and it ended up alright!”
Amid his impressive rise to diving prominence, it’s hard to believe that Haslam nearly quit the sport four years ago before transitioning from the platform to springboard events.
“All of my junior career I always competed as a platform specialist, in 2012 I did Olympic trials and that was all on platforms but I never particularly enjoyed it. I spoke to my coach and I told him I don’t know if I could carry on doing this and when you’re still quite young and you’re so scared of it you can’t see past the fear.”
Despite having to start nearly completely anew on the springboard in 2014, Haslam has gone from strength to strength, but more importantly, he’s renewed his passion for the sport.
“The best thing for me was to come down and actually enjoy diving,” the Yorkshireman professed. “It’s helped with my performances because actually when I am enjoying it I’m diving a lot better.”