Russian divers take the plunge and choose Leeds as 2012 training base

Victor Minibaeu in action
Victor Minibaeu in action
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Russia’s top divers are to train for the 2012 Olympic Games in Leeds after their country signed an agreement with the city council ahead of the event.

Eight members of the senior squad and their support staff are in Leeds this week to familiarise themselves with the city and the Aquatics Centre at the John Charles Centre for Sport, which will be their UK training base in the run-up to the Games next summer.

The Russia squad finished second behind China overall in the diving section of the recent FINA World Aquatics Championships, and both of their double medal winners from that event, Evgeny Kuznetsov (silver and bronze) and Ilya Zakharov (two bronze), will be in Leeds this week.

As part of the agreement signed between the Russian Diving Federation and Leeds Council, the squad will return to Leeds in February before the London 2012 diving test event, and will then hold a final pre-Games training camp in July.

During their visit to Leeds the squad will get to meet young people, as pupils from the Leeds West Academy, Cockburn High School and pupils studying Russian at Lawnswood High School will watch them train.