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Robert Morgan's diving legacy

National, Performance

Robert Morgan’s journey to Commonwealth glory and four Olympic Games began with nerve shredding dives from the cliffs at Llantwit Major into the Bristol Channel.

From there he graduated to the high board at the old Empire Pool in Cardiff, built to host the 1958 Games, and quickly went on to become one of the most permanent fixtures on the world diving scene for more than 20 years.

A serial victor on the British Diving circuit, Morgan brought diving into the sharp view of the Welsh public when he became the first Welshman to win diving gold at the Commonwealth Games. You’d need more than two hands for the number of European and World Championships he attended and you can then add in five Commonwealth Games and four Olympics during a glittering career.

On the medal front there were notable achievements at the European Championships, with a bronze in Athens in 1991 and then a silver at one of his later training facilities in Sheffield two years later. On the Commonwealth Games stage, he won a full house of medals – there was bronze in Edinburgh in 1986 off the 10 metre platform, gold in Auckland in 1990 and silver in Victoria, Canada in 1994.

His career ended after the 1996 Olympic Games in Atlanta, when he and his diving partner Tony Ali sold their kit to help pay for a night out and a holiday. Little did Morgan know, that almost 30 years on from his Commonwealth Games gold medal, the next bright diving hope from Wales would emerge on the Gold Coast.

Aidan Heslop, who competes at this weekend’s British National Diving Cup in Plymouth, will be hoping to follow in the footsteps of Morgan at a home Games in Birmingham this summer after also graduating the school of cliff diving on the Red Bull circuit.

In typical fashion, Morgan went from the high board to the pantomime boards after he finished his competitive career, performing stunts at Legoland for diving off the rigging into the water below.