There is little time left until the start of the 17th FINA World Championships. One of the greatest international events on home soil is always extraordinary for the nation’s athletes. Hungarian competitors of all aquatic disciplines are preparing eagerly to achieve their very bests in the venues filled with enthusiastic fans. Budapest’s own Villő Kormos is getting ready for her big dive at the World Championships in July.
She is the star of the 17th FINA World Championships official promotional video, showing her diving from one of the most emblematic sights of Budapest (and Hungary), the Chain Bridge. Thus, the approaching World Championships is very special, giving a great deal of extra motivation to the three-time European bronze medallist diver of Hungary, Villő Kormos.
‘Standing on top of the Chain Bridge has been one of the most memorable moments of my life, it actually felt like being on top of the River Danube. The entire shooting was quite extraordinary, but amazing at the same time.’ – recalled the 28-year-old diver.
As a child, Villő was not all about water – she was preparing to become an aikido champion until the age of nine. Diving attracted her suddenly when seeing a competition on TV, she decided right away to try the aquatic discipline. Besides diving, she practiced traditional folk dancing for a while. At the age of twelve – even though the first tries proved quite scary – she finally chose diving as her only sport.
‘I remember being really scared, and battling with agoraphobia…The first time I jumped from 3 metres, I walked to the end of the board, looked down and declared it too high… Then I looked back, and backing up seemed even more frightening, so, I had to jump!’ – told the diver, who was already competing at the Olympics in Athens, when she was just 16.
Today, it would be impossible to count how many times she has jumped ever since. Villő has been chosen as Best Female Diver in the past three years, she is proud to have a tally of three European bronze medals in 10m synchro, the latest won at the 2016 European Championships in London (her diving partner was Zsófia Reisinger on all occasions).
Villő competed at the World Championships in 2009 and she also treasures unforgettable memories from the European Championships in Budapest. The FINA World Championships held in Budapest will give her an even greater boost:
‘The fans’ cheering and the encouragement give us more power to compete. It is fantastic to know now already that the world elite will race against each other shoulder to shoulder.’
The Hungarian diver cannot wait to test the brand new Dagály Aquatics Arena, venue of diving and swimming at the 17th FINA World Championships:
‘As I heard, we shall jump in an amazing atmosphere and I hope everything will support our focus during the dives. In an indoor venue, it does matter where the lights come into the pool area, how the tiles reflect them or the amount of the lights the diver is able to detect during spinning. At certain jumps, we can only see the colours, flicking lights and the ceiling, while at spinning we are trying to find focus points.’
Villő Kormos hopes that she can compete in both of her usual events at the World Championships. (The host country can choose two athletes to compete in all events.)
‘One of my main events is the 10m, which is a new diving form for me and if everything goes well I can reach a strong performance. I don’t like to predict anything but it would be amazing to make it to the finals. Many of the athletes have recently retired following the Olympic Games, so it is unsure who will compete to Budapest. Canada, Mexico and the United States can all be podium pretenders together with the Chinese domination.’ – said the Hungarian diver who finished 30th in Kazan and 27th place at the Rio Olympics.
She loves the 3-meter synchronised diving, with Flóra Gondos on her side. This duo is a national rarity due to the fact that they both started with the same coach, Katalin Haász who is still coaching them currently.
They complete each other perfectly, says Villő Kormos, and they will change a lot in the dives:
‘We are planning to compete at the 17th FINA World Championships with fresh ideas, we kept one from the five previous dives, the new ones will be much more complicated. I can only say that three of them will start from backward position. It would be a dream come true to reach the finals, but we must know the others in the field, too.’
To find the ticket to the diving competitions, click here.
Born: August 2, 1988
Events: 3m, 10m, 10m Synchro
Best results: three-times European Championships bronze medallist (with Zsófia Reisinger) (2014 Berlin, 2015 Rostock, 2016 London), 36-times Hungarian national champion