LONDON: Dive board bombers, the scourge of all local swimming pools, are to receive official recognition with their unusual technique being welcomed into international diving competition, a newspaper report claimed on Sunday.
In an effort to boost the image of the sport, competitors in international diving contests will be allowed to jump into the water feet first, using the “bombing” technique.
The Sunday Telegraph reported FINA, the world governing body of swimming, believes the move will increase participation in diving by encouraging competition from people of limited ability.
It is a move that has angered British divers with many planning to boycott this year’s European Masters Championships, where the technique will be allowed for the first time.
They fear that the rule change will turn their sport into a laughing stock.
Rob Costa, the reigning European Masters springboard champion for the 25-29 age group, said he would be among about 30 British divers who would be boycotting this summer’s Masters Championships in Millau, France.
“Once they start introducing jumps at an international level it just becomes a joke,” he said.
“It brings the sport into disrepute. I’m all for the sport getting the numbers up, but the competition still needs to maintain a certain standard. It’s a bit sad really. The championships are now a waste of time.”
The bombing technique has recently achieved a high profile in Britain thanks to a beer advert where two international divers are shown performing spectacular dives.
They are followed by rotund comedian Peter Kay, who runs the length of the diving board and then drops into the water like a stone.
The judges hold up their score cards to reveal a row of perfect 10s and, as Kay clambers out of the pool with his trunks at half-mast, the commentator purrs: “Top bombing!”
The introduction of jumping will initially apply only to “masters” contests involving divers aged over 25. Elite competitors, including Olympic divers, will not be affected. – AFP