OLIVER Dingley is proud to have been Southend Diving Club’s first ever Commonwealth Games medalist.
But he soon expects others from the Garon Park club to work their way on to the rostrum.
Dingley won a memorable bronze medal on the three metre springboard in Glasgow.
And he believes more Southend-based divers will now start to follow in his footsteps in the near future.
“I’m very proud to be Southend’s first Commonwealth diving medalist, but I’m sure others will start to do the same,” said Dingley.
“The facilities we have here are fantastic and we have some excellent up-and-coming divers who I’m sure will go on to do well too.
“The support here is also fantastic and the reaction I’ve had since coming back home from the general public has been amazing as well.”
Dingley put together a string of fine dives to secure his medal, despite suffering with a back injury which required an injection to help settle it down.
And he is already eager to return to training.
“I’ve had the last week off, which I’ve pretty much spent in bed eating as much as I can and I really want to get back into it now,” said Dingley.
“After the excitement of Glasgow I guess I’ve hit something of a brick wall now.
“But getting the medal has been wonderful for my confidence and I feel like I belong in those type of competitions now.”
Dingley will now be aiming for more international events and competing at the 2016 Olympics in Rio remains his ultimate goal.
“In diving you peak at about 25 and I’m only 21. I have time on my side so I’m aiming for both Rio and Tokyo, “said Dingley.
“I also want to go to the next Commonwealth Games and try to turn this bronze medal into a gold.”