Zalika Methula Gears Up to Represent SA at World Aquatics Championships

Young South African diver Zalika Methula is gearing up to represent South Africa at the 20th World Aquatics Championships in July. As she juggles Grade 11 exams and preparation for the big dive, she joined Lonwabo Nkohla on this week’s IG Live for a brief chat.

“The exams are going so well. Some of them have been scary but mainly they’ve been good. I’m past halfway, I’m in grade 11 now and 17 now.”

The last time gsport caught up with Methula, she was selected to take part of the team that will be representing South Africa at the FINA World Junior Diving Championships in 2022. That made Zalika and her close friend Keratile Manaka the first divers of colour to represent South Africa on this stage. An incredible triumph for anyone looking to pave their way to the Olympics. However also a historic feat in a country with such complicated past racially and the marginalization of women.

Earlier this year in April, the 17 year old represented South Africa in the International Youth Meet which was held in Dresden, Germany. She made history in her 1m competition where she placed fifth out of 36 divers in the preliminary event and finished 11th overall.

“Since then life has been good at the beginning of this year I won the Most Promising Athlete of the Year at the Gauteng Sports Awards. I also went to SA Nationals where I was crowned the SA Youth Diving Champion. I also represented SA at the Dresden International Youth Meet and there I made my first International final. After that I’ve been training for my next competition.”

Methula says although she still gets nervous, she’s getting used to the big stations, “I won’t lie it still gets tough but obviously as the years go by its gets better and better.”

Being a student in Grade 11 who is also competing at the highest level is no easy

It’s hard but because I’m doing what I love so I’ll put all my time in what I love, after I’m done diving I focus on my academics. But I understand that Academics are also important and will take me far. Diving also pushes me to do well in my academics.”

She adds that her family is amazed, seeing her get a lot of media coverage. “They are happy for me. They continue to love me and support me and I’m grateful for that.”

The World Aquatic Champs are set to take place on the 14-30 July in Fukuoka, Japan.

“I’ll be representing SA in the synchronised event at the World Aquatics Championships. Training has been going well. It’s been hard here and there especially now in winter the water is cold. We’ve been doing exercises.”

With it being youth Month this is the message Zalika has for her peers: “There’s a quote that says work hard in the silence and let your success be the noise, so continue doing what you love when nobody watching and when the time is right the success will show in the world, Keep Going.”

Click here to watch the conversation on IG Live

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