The Masters diving events of the 17th FINA World Masters Championships will be held from 7 to 13 July in the Danube Arena. Hungarian fans will have the opportunity to support plenty of domestic athletes, such as the bronze medalist of the 2016 European Masters Championships Eszter Hessky, who is ready to put herself to the performance test in Budapest as well.
There are two distinct groups of masters divers: there are those, who used to be successful professional competitors from an early age and this sport has become such an integral part of their lives that they returned to diving later on. The other group consists of people who took up diving in adulthood. Members of the second group make the most enthusiastic athletes focusing much more on enjoying sport rather than achieving excellent results.
Eszter Hessky is somewhat an odd one out between these two groups: she was a diver at a young age, but she retired at age 14, so she did not become a professional competitor. Apparently, muscles retain a memory of their former conditions (or maybe it is our brain which does so). When 30 years later she joined the trainings of the Hungarian masters diving team it was clear in the very first session that a restarter is completely different from a starter.
"I was totally surprised to see how easily I could do the dives. More than three decades had passed by then, but after my first training session everyone told me it was really obvious that I used to be a diver. " – Eszter Hessky said.
Interestingly enough, she was visiting the diving pool for five years without even jumping in the water: she only accompanied her daughters who took part in the trainings of her former team mate Katalin Haász, who had become the coach of the Hungarian team in the meantime. When her daughters finally stopped diving, she decided to resume. Her third daughter started to dive also, so her husband was the only member of her family who has never been involved in this beautiful discipline.
She had never liked to take part in competitions before, but when their team mates told her during one of the trainings that they were preparing for the European Masters Championships to be held a year and a half later, it became clear for her as well that she also wanted to participate. She had no idea what to expect from herself in London, she did not know anything about her rivals, but it was never a problem for her. She loved the atmosphere, she was interested in the Olympic Pool, and since she never had the chance to take part in a major international competition at a young age, it was a good opportunity to make up for it.
In London it turned out that it is not always a disadvantage if someone is not that young any more: she was relaxed, and she could be really satisfied with her performance. In addition, she won the bronze medal in the 3m springboard event!
"To tell you the truth, let’s admit that I was a bit fortunate with my category, since there were not too many competitors and very few of them had extensive experience in diving. The gold medallist was an exception, she won by more than a hundred points."
"Regarding FINA World Masters, I have realised that there will be much more competitors than in London, the best diver of the lower category will change to my one, moreover, the winner of the European Masters in my category will compete again, so I can only dream of winning a medal. My main goal is to do my best dives and enjoy the event. If I manage to do so I will be satisfied completely. Especially because I have had some difficulties during the preparation."