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Rio hopeful Megan happy with fifth place at nationals

By Doug O'Kane, Sports Editor Tuesday 17th June 2014
Diver: Megan Sylvester

Megan Sylvester admits she considered quitting her sport in the last two years but says her confidence has been fully restored by an impressive fifth place finish at the British Championships last weekend.


The 19-year-old from Tankersley was leading after two rounds of the women's individual 10m event – her first major competition since injuring her shoulder in 2012 – at her former training base of Ponds Forge in Sheffield.


A poor dive in the fourth of five rounds saw her drop back to fifth but the former Kirk Balk school student was extremely pleased with her weekend's work.


"It was a really positive step forward for me," said Sylvester.


"Everyone who watched gave me really good feedback and I feel much happier than I did before."


Megan became European Junior champion in 2012 then dislocated her shoulder twice while competing at the World Juniors Championships later that year. She said: "It has taken me a long time to recover and to get all my dives together again.

"There were times when I thought I would have to quit but I kept going. I just wanted to prove to everyone, including myself, that I am a good diver."


Megan's long-term aim is to reach the Rio Olympics in two years' time while her short-term goals – having missed out on the team for this year's Commonwealth Games in Glasgow – are to continue to compete in top class events, stay fit and become more consistent.


The teenager – who wants to be a PE teacher alongside her diving career – has just completed her second year of three studying Physical Education and Coaching at Plymouth University and trains at Tom Daley's Plymouth Diving Club.


She has returned to the south coast after spending most of the week in her home town of Barnsley following the competition in Sheffield. Megan was tipped to feature in the synchronised event at the 2012 London Olympics but her partner Monique Gladding hit her head on the board at a competition in Russia and the duo eventually stopped competing together.