Nikii’s on top of the world

144035'Nikii Walker with her world masters dive medals from Montreal'Picture by Neil Silk'03/10/14
144035'Nikii Walker with her world masters dive medals from Montreal'Picture by Neil Silk'03/10/14
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Scarborough’s Nikii Walker is on top of the world after earning a gold medal and two bronzes at the World Masters Diving Championships.

The Scarborough Gymnastics Academy coach returned to the sport last year and this year has made a big splash at the highest level, winning the gold medal in the highboard platform category at the Montreal-based event.

Walker said: “I used to dive at a national level, the highest I reached was sixth in the country as a teenager.

“I started diving again after 20 years out of the sport last year at the City of Leeds club, and this year myself and my friend Mikey Barnes, who I used to train with as a youngster and have known since I was seven, decided we would go to Canada to compete in the world championships.

“I was competing in the individual 35-39 years category events against very strong divers from all over the world, with a large contingent from the USA and Canada as well as plenty from all over Europe.

“My first event was the one metre springboard and I earned a bronze medal, and I followed that up with another third-place finish in the three metre springboard. I was delighted with this as it was a very tough competition.”

The 36-year-old added: “The highboard platform was my third and final category and to get gold in that event was brilliant. I was pushed hard by an American but I managed to finish in top spot.”

Walker’s training regime is a family affair as eight-year-old son Jacob also attends training sessions with her every Sunday at the Leeds club.

“Both Jacob and Lottie, six, were both very proud of me when I came home with the medals after two weeks in North America,” added Walker.

“I would like to say a huge thank-you to coach Richard Bradley and our old coach Adrian Hinchcliffe.”