Eliza Cole, 29, has already won three diving events in the 25-29 age group at the 16th FINA World Masters Championships. The Australian diver performed in the springboard and platform events scoring 282.15, 335.45 and 331.40 points and topped the podium leaving all the opponents way too far behind. By the way, it is the first Masters tournament in Eliza Cole's career.
Bruce Prance is Eliza’s coach and for all her high achievements she thanks no one but him. Just like any other Australian girl, she has sparkling eyes and a wide smile and after being awarded during the victory ceremony, she watches how other athletes get their own trophies.
Eliza prefers platform dives but she admits that she is not experienced enough. She has training practices three times a week in the lead-up to the Championships.
– You’ve achieved good results, why wouldn’t you have a try at the professional sport?
– I am not that experienced for other types of competitions than the Masters tournament. My dives should be definitely much more complicated.
– What do you do for living?
– I am a general practitioner, a family doctor.
– How long have you been competing?
– I started at school, I was into it since I was 12. Back then I swam as well, even nowadays a bit but mostly I prefer diving over swimming, it gives me much more adrenaline, it seems much more exciting for me.
– Do you train by yourself or with a coach?
– I’ve been practicing for 14 years now and all this time with one only coach, he is an amazing person!
– What can you say about your rivals at these Championships?
– They are very strong athletes. Russian divers are quite good as well, they are wonderful athletes.
– What made you start competing at the Masters tournament?
– Back there in Australia I’ve been competing in the national Masters championships for about 10 years. My friends told me about these championships later on. And it evoked a great interest in me and I decided to definitely take part before I turn 30 because in the 25-29 age group the competition is much higher.
– Have you got any support from Australia?
– They provided me with a uniform, everything else was arranged by myself.
– Does your family support you?
– They have phoned and congratulated me all the time.
– Is this your first visit to Russia?
– Yes, and I like it here. I’d like to stay here longer, but I need to come back home to my job and my husband. He knows I’m independent, strong and love to travel, so he does not worry about me.
– Can we see you at the next Championships?
– With pleasure. The next tournament takes place in Budapest, it will be much fun. I want more participants to come from Australia next time.
– What are your thoughts about when you on a springboard?
– I try to focus on a dive, spring higher and finish with a good entry.
– Do you have a box for your medals to keep?
– Yes, I have a pair. Once when I have a bigger house, I will have a separate room for medals (smiles).
– What about high diving?
– It would be interesting, but where can I find a cliff to train from? (smiles). Somebody must guide me, but it is fun!
– Did you watch the FINA World Championships?
– Yes, but not here, at home on TV.
– Do you know Maddison Keeny from the national team?
– Oh, yes. She is my friend from Perth. She grew up there, but lives in Queensland now. I remember her a little girl. We often competed in childhood.
– What is the attitude to sport in Australia?
– Diving is not so popular in Australia. People like to watch competitions, but they know little about it. But they know Matthew Mitcham, who is famous for winning Olympic gold. It would be great, if this sport became more popular in our country.
Press Office of Organising Committee for 16th FINA World Championships