Diver deserves praise, says retired Olympian

August 22, 2016
Ricardo Makyn/Staff Photographer Jamaica's diver Yona Knight Wisdom

Pioneering national Olympic diver, Betsy Sullivan Sharp is calling on Jamaica to pay tribute to Yona Knight-Wisdom despite his failure to advance as one of 12 automatic qualifiers in the men's three metre springboard at the Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro.

The Jamaican clinched 14th spot in the semi-final round. He earned scores of 75, 48, 45.9, 63, 72 and 77.5 points.

Sixty-year-old retiree, Sharp, competed for Jamaica at the 1966 Commonwealth Games in Kingston.

"Yona did us proud. He made it through to the semi-finals, and if he had dived as well in the semi's as he did in the prelims, he would have made it into the finals," Sharp said.

"He is a wonderful face of the nation and I hope we see a lot more of him," she told STAR Sports.

Knight-Wisdom finished with an overall score of 381.40, and Sharp feels he should be congratulated.

"One thing that I have always got to thank the Jamaican Olympic Association for is for giving me the chance to represent my country and for supporting me; once you are an Olympian, you are always an Olympian," she said.

Sharp added that some people might say you didn't come in the top three (medal), but she would counter: "I can look on them and say, did you qualify for the Olympics? No you didn't."

"How many people are going to get one, two three? You have 30-40 people in a competition, only three spots are at the top, that means the other 90 per cent of the field is not going to medal and we should never discount those people that have never medalled because they too have managed to reach the pinnacle of the sport which qualified them for being among the world best athletes," she said.

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