Councillor dives in at the deep end and comes up with silver

John Whitby.
John Whitby.
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A Peterborough city councillor has just won a medal at the Great Britain Diving Championships.

John Whitby (57), councillor for the Stanground Central ward, finished runner-up in the 50-59-year age group at the GB Diving Federation’s Winter Masters Championships held at Corby at the weekend.

And it could so easily have been a golden return to action for Whitby, who was enjoying his first competitive outing for over a year.

Whitby made a great start to the event and the first of his six dives - a simple forward dive with a half-twist from the one-metre springboard - saw him gain marks between 6.0 and 6.5 from the judges.

Moving up to the five-metre board, his next dive also scored the same average mark, putting him towards the front of the pack.

The next two dives, an inward one and a half somersault and a forward two-and-half somersaults, also scored well, again averaging 6.0, and that gave him the overall lead with two dives to go.

But then disaster struck. His fifth dive, a backward one-and-half somersault, was a poor one as he landed very flat on the water from the three-metre springboard. His scoring was a very low 2.0 average and the mistake made his prospects of winning a medal look very unlikely.

Thankfully, though his final dive, a back somersault with one-and-a-half twists, was much better. He averaged 5.0 and that was enough to give him second place.

He finished with a score of 191.45, which was just three points short of the gold medal.

Whitby, who trains at Corby and competes for the Corby Steel Diving Club, is next year looking to compete in the European Masters Championships in London