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GB team diver to make daring dive as the Commonwealth baton visits city
HE is used to living the high life. Diver Pete Waterfield has taken heights in his stride to soar to glory during his illustrious career.
But even the Olympic medallist will be terrified to look down when he takes himself to the brink for the spectacular finale of one of Southampton’s biggest sporting extravaganzas.
The retired Team GB star is at the forefront of celebrations marking the Queen’s Commonwealth baton visiting the city on Wednesday ahead of the 2014 Commonwealth Games in Glasgow.
The day peaks with an awe-inspiring diving display from a giant high board and pool set up in Guildhall Square while thousands of spectators look on.
It will be the venue for an exclusive World Record attempt for the most divers taking the plunge while on fire.
But for the first time Pete will daringly dismount from a towering 25metre board – plunging 70mph into a pool just three metres deep.
It is more than twice the height of his preferred 10metre platforms in which he won gold in the 2002 Commonwealth Games and silver in the synchronised event in the 2004 Athens Olympics.
The 33-year-old is excited at the prospect, but added: “It’s scary enough jumping from 10m so this is going to be a big challenge. But seeing the crowds is going to make me want to do it and I really want them to get behind me.”
He is teaming up with the cliff divers La Quebrada evoking their mind-blowing Britain’s Got Talent stunts performed last year.
Three of the team will be draped in towels, doused in petrol and set alight to reignite a world record attempt.
Former Team GB diving team manager – Annie Clewlow will hold the baton aloft during the event.
Dad-of-two Pete is keeping the show closely under wraps but said: “It’s going to be amazing and showing a different side to diving with a lot more splash.”
A team of six sports people will carry the baton when it arrives in the city. They include retired Olympic medal-winning sprinter Iwan Thomas and bearers chosen for their dedication to sport in Hampshire.
The baton will arrive at 8am when Mr Thomas carries it onto the Queen Elizabeth liner, before heading to Southampton Guildhall for the Mayor Making ceremony at 11am.
Its penultimate stop is at Southampton Sports Centre for 1.50pm before heading to Guildhall Square from 5pm for the two-hour diving display.
n See Page 11 for news of Britain’s Got Talent hopeful Kai Widdrington.
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