The taste of the 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games has increased Nikita Hains’ appetite for success, and the diver is hungry for gold on the world stage.
21-year-old Hains is Birmingham bound, securing her spot in the squad of 14 divers and representing Australia at the 2022 Commonwealth Games starting on July 28.
Hains is one of seven Australian divers set to make their Commonwealth Games debut.
“It’s so exciting making my first Commonwealth Games team. Being a part of the Australian team is always so special,” Hains said.
She is no stranger to performing on the big stage, having competed at many national and international competitions, which have earned her six medals around her neck.
Hains made her Olympic debut at the 2020 Tokyo Games, finishing in 21st place for the women’s 10-metre platform.
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Her time in Tokyo was cut short due to COVID-19 restrictions forcing Australia to withdraw from the qualification event.
Despite COVID-19 restrictions, her experience at the Olympics was everything she could have dreamed of.
“The pressure I felt in that environment was something I had never experienced before… the Games themselves are exciting, overwhelming and intense,” she said.
“Being able to experience a multi-sport event last year gave me a taste of just how special being an Australian athlete is.
“I can’t wait to be back in that environment and feed off of the support the Aussie team provides and hopefully do my country proud.”
More determined than ever, Hains is hoping her time in Birmingham will earn her a spot on the podium.
She is using her experience at the Tokyo Games as a springboard to success in the Commonwealth Games.
“Having Olympic experience under my belt will be very beneficial this year going into the Commonwealth Games and will allow me to put those emotions aside and focus on the process,” she said.
“I think this time, I can focus on myself and enjoy the experience, rather than getting overwhelmed by all the pressure.”
Hains will compete in the women’s 10-metre individual platform and the 10-metre synchronised alongside diving partner Emily Boyd.
All diving events will take place at the new Sandwell Aquatics Centre from August 4-8.
Despite the fierce competition heading to Birmingham, Hains is trying not to focus too much on her competition, as she does not want it to stray her focus off the path she needs to be on.
“I just want to go out and give my best performance and walk away proud of what I’ve achieved,” Hains said.
Though Hains has already secured her spot in the Australian squad for this year’s Commonwealth Games, she has barely had the chance to relish her achievement.
Training and competitions are in full swing for the diver, with her road to Birmingham nothing short of relaxing.
Hains is currently in Toronto for the Pre-World Championship training camp before heading to Budapest, where she will compete in the FINA World Championships, which run from June 1-4.
“It’s very exciting to be back on the world stage and travelling the world again,” she said.
“I’ve been lucky enough to have travelled to Canada to compete in the Canada Cup.
“With all this travel, I’m trying to ensure I take it day by day and allow myself to rest so that I can perform my best.”
With her name in lights and the Olympics fuelling her desire the compete at the highest level possible, Hains will no doubt be making quite the splash in Birmingham.
“Call me crazy, but I love the rush of adrenaline I get when I stand up on the platform ready to compete. It’s so fulfilling to let my body take over and perform my dives how I train day in and day out,” Hains said.
“That’s all I can ask of myself, to be in the moment and trust in the process and all the training I have put in.
“I want to not only make myself proud but my friends, family and my country.”
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