Teen diving duo Desharne Bent-Ashmeil and Amy Rollinson believe they handled the occasion well after finishing fourth in the women’s synchro 3m springboard final.
At just 17, Bent-Ashmeil was making her Commonwealth Games debut at Sandwell Aquatics Centre in the first of three events she will compete in at Birmingham 2022.
Rollinson had already experienced the atmosphere provided by the home crowd in Friday’s 1m springboard final, in which the 18-year-old claimed what she described as ‘a bonus’ bronze.
And Bent-Ashmeil admitted she was a bit like a rabbit in the headlights at first as she got used to the decibel level, after the England pair missed out on a podium placing.
“I enjoyed it quite a lot,” said the Croydon diver. “This is my first Commonwealth Games, my first event out of two more with tomorrow and Monday so I feel like it was good experience for me.
“A good way to get me used to the crowd and everyone, all the other stuff that’s happening. It was definitely (a bit rabbit in the headlights), especially on the first dive.
“I didn’t know it was going to be that loud and when you’re in the crowd you can’t really hear it as much as when you’re the person they are cheering for.
“I’ve never experienced anything like that before. Usually, we just have our parents there because of Covid so this is my first really big championships and I feel like it was a good experience.
“I definitely feel like I could have done better but I feel like because of nerves and stuff (it didn't quite happen). I can always do better but I can learn a lot from that.”
This summer, Team England, supported by funding raised by National Lottery players, comprises of over 400 athletes, all vying for medal success.
Bent-Ashmeil and Rollinson both had a nervy start to the competition, with their opening two dives scoring 45.00 and 46.80 to leave them at the bottom of the standings.
But they gradually found their feet, recording three consecutive scores in the 60s to rise up the rankings to fourth - finishing 18.9 points off the bronze medallists from Canada.
Australia’s Maddison Keeney and Annabelle Smith took the top step with a total of 316.53 and while Rollinson felt she and Bent-Ashmeil could have performed better, the Luton diver took satisfaction from completing all five of their efforts.
“I think it went quite well. We’ve not had huge amounts of preparation for it, so just to have got our dives down, do them all and get them down, we were both happy,” Rollinson said.
“I don’t know about Desharne but I wasn’t looking at what everyone else was doing, I don’t like doing that so I couldn’t tell you (if we had a chance at getting a medal).
“We both know we can do all of the dives better but it was a huge crowd, given everything I think we both did quite well considering everything.
“It was funny, on our first dive everybody cheered and Desharne turned around to me and said, ‘God, it's so loud’ and I was like, ‘yeah’. It’s so cool having everyone there.
“I definitely found that yesterday helped, even today I found it helped. It sounded like everyone was there trying to get you to do well.”
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