Jonah Mercieca has enhanced his reputation as one of Australia’s best divers in his age group.
Having won three bronze medals at last year’s Australian Age Championships, the Keilor resident stepped up to another level at this year’s event.
Competing in the under-11 age group again, this time as top-age diver, he won gold in the one-metre, three-metre and synchronised events.
He also won bronze in the platform event.
Mercieca’s results saw him named the diver of the championships for his age group. He’s only been competing in diving events since late 2016.
The 10-year-old said competing at the championships last year had given him an idea of what to expect this year.
“I knew who the divers from the other states were and who to watch,” he said.
“It was really exciting, I thought I came third in my favorite event.
“It was really good and I wasn’t that surprised that I was named diver of the meet [for my age group].
“My best friend from school came second.”
Mercieca said he had learnt a number of new dives in the past 12 months, including the back one and a half pike and forward two and a half pike.
Since the national championships, Mercieca has been busy learning a new dive, the back two and a half pike.
He said the dive is his new favourite, despite not always landing it.
“I have landed on my stomach a few times.”
The gold medals follow Mercieca claiming three individual state titles in February. He had won silver in all three of those events the previous 12 months.
He also won two silver in individual events and gold in the team event at the School Sport Australia Pacific Games late last year. This saw him compete against the best divers from Australia and several international competitors.
Mercieca, who started diving after seeing a Melbourne Elite Diving Academy school holiday program several years ago, is now looking to increase his training and the level of competition.
He dives for his school’s diving team at St Kevins as well as with the academy.
Next up, he is looking to compete at the elite national events, which require him to learn harder dives.
With that in mind, he’s increased his training to five times a week.
Mercieca said one day he would love to go to the Olympics.