PLYMOUTH’S national diving champion Sarah Barrow admitted she will never tire of winning titles after almost a decade of podium-topping performances.
Barrow’s latest brush with gold came in the British Gas National Cup last weekend, where she kicked off her 2014 campaign with a new addition to the trophy cabinet and a new personal best.
The 25-year-old amassed 351.50 points on her way to winning the women’s 10metre platform, which more than exceeded her expectations at the Southend three-day tournament.
Barrow, a European champion for Great Britain in the women’s 10m synchro two years ago, is convinced a newly-rediscovered inner confidence competing individually has given her food for thought with an event-filled year ahead.
Last summer, Barrow achieved the highest position by a female GB diver at the world championships, scoring a personal best of 346.45 points and coming fourth at Barcelona.
The longevity of her diving career is not lost on Barrow, who said: “I was winning titles almost 10 years ago and I’m still doing it.
“Just as importantly, I’m gaining in confidence, particularly individually.
“I still believe competing at synchro with Tonia (Couch) is where I’ll be most successful, but I’m really enjoying what I’m doing right now.”
Barrow added: “Since I made the decision to come home from (Leeds) university and train full time in Plymouth, I feel I’ve made great strides.
“Training with my coach (Andy Banks) and, of course, training with Tonia has worked wonders and, hopefully, I will continue to progress with major tournaments, like the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow, coming up.”
Banks paid his own tribute to Barrow, who was just one of Plymouth Diving’s medal winners last weekend.
Tom Daley, who has relocated to London but who still competes for his home-city club, won two medals, gold in the men’s 10m platform and silver in the 3m synchro with Plymouth Diving club-mate Dan Goodfellow.
Banks, who has coached Daley, Couch, Brooke Graddon and, countless others to stardom over the past decade, said Barrow’s ‘determination, work ethos and undoubted talent’ was an inspiration to others.
He said: “Sarah has proved just what a fighter she is.
“She trains as hard as anybody I know, so it is no surprise she has reached these heights.
“What she achieved in Barcelona last year and now in the National Cup is terrific, and well deserved.
“Sarah is a role model for all our athletes – and there is still more to come.”