11 Aug 2018

Russia's Yulia Timoshinina follows in family's glorious diving tradition

Russia's Yulia Timoshinina probably had no choice than to become a top level diver. It is in her genes.

Her mother Svetlana is a three-time European champion, her father Vladimir a two-time European champion, and her grandmother Natalia Kuznetsova-Lobanova (later Timoshinina) claimed the silver medal at the Mexico City 1968 Olympic Games diving from the 10m platform.

Possibly there was another option, and Iuliia could have become a rower like her grandfather Alexander Timoshinin, a two-time Olympic champion in the double sculls in 1968 and 1972.

However, the 20-year-old basically grew up in the swimming pool in Moscow where her parents started coaching after retiring from competition.

"When I was a child my parents just always took me to the pool. I was running and jumping around and so it happened and I got into the sport," Timoshinina said.

Timoshinina has already followed in her parents' footsteps and won three European titles; her triumph in Edinburgh on Saturday, as well as in 2014 and 2015, all in the 10m synchronised platform.

As an 18-year-old she competed at the Rio 2016 Olympic Games. Her mother, a three-time Olympian, competed in her second Games at Sydney 2000 two years after Iuliia was born, and her father competed in the Olympic Games at Seoul 1988 and Atlanta 1996.

Coming from such an athletic family is not always easy for the young diver.

"It means pressure, because they are all excellent athletes and you cannot let them down," Timoshinina said.

"On the other hand, since my parents are also my coaches, they are always there for me to help me and that makes it easier. So there are positives and negatives."

Timoshinina continued her family's success in the sport by taking a complete set of medals at the Royal Commonwealth Pool: gold in the mixed 10m synchronised platform, silver in the 10m synchronised and bronze in the mixed team.

However, in her individual 10m platform, Timoshinina unexpectedly crashed out in the preliminaries.

"I cried for two days. Then I told myself, just dive, that's it and whatever happens, happens. It is good to finish on a high note."