Baku 2015: Lee gets gold and now wants to teach dad to swim

22 June 2015 / 09:38

New British diving star Matthew Lee gave his watching dad the perfect Fathers' Day gift at the European Games - now he wants to teach him to swim.

The 17-year old concluded a memorable event for Team GB in Baku as he secured Britain's place at the top of the diving medal table with a gold in the 10m platform event.

He even got a perfect score from one judge as he claimed Britain's fourth gold in the pool.

“My dad Tim was up in the stands so I guess this is a perfect Father's Day for him,” said Lee 

"I managed to shout 'Happy Father’s Day' to him and it brought a big smile to his face.

"He can't even swim. I want it to happen though. I'd love to get him in the pool and I'd love it even more to see him dive.

"But I don’t think there's much chance of either to be honest. He's a bit too old for either now, certainly for jumping off the ten metre board!"

Russia was expected to dominate the diving in Baku but Lee followed Katherine Torrance in the women's 3m springboard, James Heatly in the men's 3m springboard and Lois Tolson in the women's platform to buck those pre-Games predictions.

And British coach Julian Bellan believes that underlined a key part of his strategy for success.

"Without wanting to give away anything to our rivals, it is about making our athletes mentally tough," he said.

Bellan also hailed the courage of 15-year old Matthew Dixon who finished fourth behind Lee just 24 hours after training accident left him bruised and needing medical treatment.

“He’s a brave kid who’s had a rough ride,” he added. “Little Matthew’s had a tough time. He completely wiped out flat on one of his dives, and was completely horizontal when he hit the water.

“The medics were with him afterwards, got him out the pool and he was black and blue.

“After the injury, we had to change the lot of dives that he was doing. We had to reintroduce the twisting arm stand, a dive which he hasn’t done for six months.

"He was really nervous and we just had to put him in a good place just to get him through the competition. So then to finish fourth against that standard of opposition at just 15 was an absolutely phenomenal achievement.

“I told him, ‘For you, this is about going out there and enjoying your diving so go out there with a big smile’ and he did. He made everyone smile too.”

© Sportsbeat 2015