South Africa: Taking Lessons On Board Has Helped Prepare SA's Julia Vincent for Tokyo Diving Challenge

analysis

Tokyo — Vincent will compete in the Olympic 3m springboard event - and hopes to be less starstruck than she was in Rio four years ago.

Deep into our interview I suddenly hit a blank. Julia Vincent looked at me, waiting for me to ask another question. I looked at her. I'd lost my train of thought. Embarrassingly so.

"Does that ever happen to you?" I asked. "Oh absolutely!" she replied. "Sometimes I've forgotten which leg to start walking with on the board, I've got so nervous. But that's part of the challenge, isn't it? We all have moments like that."

Vincent is one of two divers representing Team SA at the Tokyo Olympics, along with Micaela Bouter, and this is her second Games appearance, having been part of Rio 2016. But that was then, this is now. If they say a week can be a long time in sport, imagine how long five years can be.

"I'm a completely different athlete to who I was back in 2016," she said with an American accent that has developed over the past six years after settling in South Carolina in 2015.

"I was so grateful to be in Rio, but I know I...

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