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Sam Thornton has new spring in his step
They say that what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger – and Sam Thornton believes that is certainly the case for him ahead of an adventure Down Under.
The Baildon diver has long been one to watch and won both bronze at the European Junior Championships and silver at the British Elite Junior Championships in 2011.
But the City of Bradford Esprit Diving Club member missed out on last year’s European Junior Championships after a training injury left him with a broken arm and needing a metal plate.
It was feared that Thornton would be out for up to a year but six months later he was back, just in time to earn selection for Britain and this month’s Australian Youth Olympic Festival.
Now the Woodhouse Grove School pupil insists his injury woes are a thing of a past – and could even be something of a silver lining.
Thornton said: “I snapped both bones in the bottom of my arm and had a compound fracture which ruled me out for six months. But it could have been worse as they feared it could be up to a year or so.
“I recovered a lot quicker and I am back to the ten-metre board now and I have been for a while.
“When I was told about the operation and that they were putting some metal plates inside me, I was a bit worried. But they said it was for the best and now it is benefiting me.
“I was scared I wasn’t going to get picked for things but since getting selected for this it has boosted my confidence and has made me want to push on to get selected for bigger and better things.
“This will be the highlight of my career so far. As soon as I got the letter, I was buzzing and I was so happy. Then to find out some of my friends are going as well was great.
“That will make the experience that much better and going to Australia, halfway around the world, is incredible. It is just amazing to be part of it.”
The Australian Youth Olympic Festival will see 1,700 athletes from 30 countries compete across 17 different sports in many of the venues used for the 2000 Sydney Games.
But despite the competition, Thornton is keeping his feet firmly on the ground – until he takes to the boards that is.
“As for my targets, I would mainly like to get into the final and give the best performance possible,” he said.
“Getting a personal best is important and doing well on the big stage is important and if that brings a medal, then that would be great.”
* The British Olympic Association prepare and lead British athletes at the summer, winter and youth Olympic Games. They work in partnership with sports’ national governing bodies to enhance Olympic success and are responsible for championing the Olympic values – www.olympics.org.uk.