Baildon diver Thornton eyes comeback after Euro blow

HIGH DIVER: Sam Thornton finished second at the Elite Junior Championships but injury denied him a European place

HIGH DIVER: Sam Thornton finished second at the Elite Junior Championships but injury denied him a European place

First published in Sport by

Baildon diver Sam Thornton is vowing to make a splash before the year is over despite having his European hopes dashed by injury.

The 15-year-old had his sights firmly set on Graz and next month’s European Junior Diving Championships after his performances at the Elite Junior Championships earned him a call up, Thornton finishing the platform final second.

But Thornton’s plane ticket to Austria had to be handed back after a training injury left him with two metal plates in his arm after snapping both his radius and ulna bones.

However, despite admitting that he fancied his chances of coming away from the European Juniors clutching silverware, the City of Bradford Esprit Diving Club starlet insists he will not give up the fight, with plenty still to look forward to on the horizon.

“Unfortunately I am missing out on the European Junior Championships after snapping two bones in my arm in training,” said Thornton, who is part of the Kellogg’s Champions of Tomorrow scheme.

“We were doing some jumping exercise and I fell backwards and, as I put my arms out to stop me, I broke my radius and ulna.

“It is frustrating because I had already qualified for the European Juniors and was really looking forward to them but obviously I am going to have to miss them.

“I was really looking forward to the Europeans and I was hoping to get a medal and I think I could have done that over there.

“It would have been a stretch but I have am still young and I would rather this happen now than in a senior competition.”

Thornton has every reason to not want to dwell on his injury with his season only just getting going.

And he has targeted the senior ranks to more than make up for his summer of disappointment.

“There is still plenty to look forward to and the next big competition for me will be the senior nationals in January,” he added.

“That is the one competition I am looking at now and will try and announce myself back at – I have a lot of training between now and then though.”

* To celebrate 15 years of support for British Swimming, Kellogg’s is offering a ‘Free Kids Swim’ on 30 million packs of cereal to encourage families to take the plunge together. Collect a voucher on pack and take it down to your local participating pool. For more information, please visit www.kelloggs.co.uk/swimming

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