Extreme diver from Horsham faces crucial event

Horsham diver Blake Aldridge competing in the Red Bull World Cliff Diving Series in Havana, Cuba. Photo by Dean Treml/Red Bull Cliff Diving SUS-141206-173117001
Horsham diver Blake Aldridge competing in the Red Bull World Cliff Diving Series in Havana, Cuba. Photo by Dean Treml/Red Bull Cliff Diving SUS-141206-173117001

Horsham diving star Blake Aldridge faces a make or break competition in Colombia as he bids to qualify for next year’s Red Bull Cliff Diving World Series.

The former Olympian and diving partner of Tom Daley will travel to South America in February for the all-important event, but said he is ‘pretty certain’ he will qualify and rejoin the tour next year.

Aldridge, 32, won the first event of this year’s world series, in Cuba, but failed to hit the same heights in a frustrating year that saw him finish eighth in the championship.

He said: “It started off brilliantly with a win in Cuba, my first win, but I had a few niggling injuries throughout the year. I had a couple of close calls but didn’t manage to get back on the podium.

“My main aim is to go in and dive well and get good results, and when that doesn’t happen it is downright frustrating.”

Aldridge entered the final event of the calendar in Mexico in the top five in the standings - but was unable to hold onto the position.

Only the top five divers automatically qualify for the following year’s championship, so he must earn his place in the qualifier in Cali.

He said: “One event (Mexico) had pretty disastrous consequences.

“It is going to be massive, but I am pretty certain I will qualify. Hopefully I will qualify, and try to be more consistent throughout next year.”

The diver trains at Pavilions in the Park in Horsham and thanked the leisure centre for its ongoing support.

He said: “Pavilions in the Park have agreed to carry on supporting me. It’s great, without being able to use a gym I wouldn’t be able to get any training in the off-season.”

He added that he is ‘toying’ with new dives that will be showcased in Colombia.