A Saskatoon diver is getting ready to compete in the Olympic trials next month after reaching the podium in Japan.
Rylan Wiens scored 488.55 in the final to secure a bronze medal in the men’s 10-metre platform event on May 4 during the FINA Diving World Cup at the Tatsumi Aquatics Centre in Tokyo.
The 19-year-old man said afterwards this was probably the best event of his life, describing it as the “perfect storm.”
“I’d been training pretty consistently for six weeks … my dives were getting more consistent and then once I made the final, there (was) not a lot I could lose so I just put it all out there,” he said.
“When I went through the water, it just felt super smooth and I knew it was a good one because I could hear the cheers from the crowd underwater.
“It definitely gave me a huge boost of confidence. Those (divers) are some of the best guys in the world. To show I could compete with them was awesome.”
Wiens said this was his first in-person competition since February 2020.
“When the (COVID-19) pandemic hit, I think we were off mid-March 2020, we got shut out of the pool and so we did Zoom practices where we just do dryland workouts and keeping in shape and then in about August 2020 … we got back into the pool,” he said.
“We were expecting to have in-person nationals in December 2020, which got cancelled and then we did just a virtual one and then this competition that I went to in Tokyo, it got postponed a number of times and so we didn’t even know if it was going to happen or not.”
“But we did a six-week training camp just before that and then headed off to Tokyo in hopes that we were actually going to be able to compete.”
After his two-week quarantine for leaving the country is complete, Weins plans to get right back into the pool to achieve his next endeavour which is earning a spot in June to represent Canada at the upcoming Summer Olympics in Tokyo.
“When I get back, it’s going to be right back in the training and leading up competition prep, getting myself physically and mentally ready to compete and trying to achieve my goal,” Wiens said.
“The score that I had in the (World Cup) finals, which was a pretty decent score, it transfers over to our Olympic trials, which will possibly assist me in making the Olympic team.
“But, honestly, I think it’s going to come down to who dives the best when we have our trials.”