IT was an extraordinary weekend at the finals of the London Youth Games for the Crystal Palace Diving Team, who won 75 per cent of the medals. The divers performed magnificently across 14 London Boroughs where the club have concentrated on their school talent testing. The club's system of ensuring that the most talented have their training overseen by top Chinese coach Chen Wen (2004 & 2008 Head British Olympic Coach), has made all the difference. So far they have tested 118,000 children in London junior schools and have had 12 divers on various national squads where all have participated, at one time or another, at the London Youth Games. The team's director, Chris Snode said: "In the 29 years we have been supporting the London Youth Games, this is by far our best ever result." Noah Payne, 11, who is also part of Crystal Palace Diving Club, was part of the successful Croydon Borough diving team competing at the Games, claiming silver in the junior age group on his first appearance at Crystal Palace. He said: "It feels really exhilarating to come second, I didn't expect a silver medal and to be honest I thought I wouldn't be in a medal position because I was against older people. "Competitions like this make you dive better. I got into the England talent camps last year and I think it's the same path that Tom Daley took, so I want to now get to the elite squad and see how far I can go." Today, Crystal Palace Age Group divers are defending their sixth national title at the ASA English Nationals up in Sheffield.
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