Anton Down-Jenkins (Instagram)
Anton Down-Jenkins (Instagram)
2 min read

In a perfectly executed range of dives, openly gay Kiwi diver Anton Down-Jenkins has successfully made it into the final of the Men’s 3-metre springboard diving event at the Tokyo Olympics finishing in 8th position.

The 21-year-old left his most adventurous dive until the 6th and final round when he attempted a Forward 2½ Somersaults 2 Twists dive with a difficulty rating of 3.4 and scored 79.90 to qualify for the finals on Tuesday afternoon.

Down-Jenkins, like in the preliminary rounds, had kept the difficulty rating on his dives in the semi-final around 3.0 or 3.1 and had executed them well enough to keep him within striking distance of the 12th cutoff spot.


His final dive secured his place before the rest of the field had even made their dive.

Competing at his first Olympics and the first New Zealand Olympic diver in almost 40 years, Down-Jenkins finished 16th in the preliminary qualification event in Tokyo on Monday, enough to take him through to the semi-final on Tuesday.

He is one of two openly gay divers at the 2020 Olympics, alongside gold medallist Tom Daley.

Two Chinese divers Zongyuan Wang and Siyi Xie led the opening rounds with Rio silver medallist Jack Laugher finishing in 3rd place.


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A post shared by Anton Down-Jenkins (@antonjenkins)

Before the Olympics, 21-year-old Down-Jenkins said he was passionate about being a sporting role model for LGBTQ+ people.

“We don’t see too much LGBTQ+ representation in sport, so I want to be part of that representation for my community and in turn, help break down the idea that someone’s sexual orientation or identity is a barrier for success in the sporting realm,” Down-Jenkins explained to Radio NZ.

“I got really lucky because of the LGBQT representation that there has been in diving in terms of [Australian] Matthew Mitcham who won gold in Beijing and [Briton] Tom Daley who is multi Olympic medallist and world champion and having those role models proved to me that regardless of my sexual orientation or sexual identity that I can perform at the highest level of sport.

“I’ve never felt the need to hide who I am or think twice about it but I know that’s not the reality for a lot of people.”

The Finals will be held at 3pm Tuesday afternoon Tokyo time.


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A post shared by Anton Down-Jenkins (@antonjenkins)

Last Updated on Aug 3, 2021

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