Koloi dives towards Emerging Athlete of the Month nomination for February


By Josh Squire

After striking gold at the 2024 World Aquatics Championship in Doha, diver Alysha Koloi has been named the Emerging Athlete of the Month for February.

Entering the women’s one-metre springboard final as the sixth ranked qualifier, Koloi hit the lead after a strong fourth attempt before cementing her new world champion status in the final round.

Her final score of 260.50 was enough to edge out Gold Coast 2018 Commonwealth Games gold medallist Grace Reid (257.25, silver) of Great Britain and Egyptian Maha Eissa (257.15, bronze).

Competing at her first world championships, Koloi had to wait anxiously for the final five divers to finish, and it wasn’t until confirmation of the final score for Eissa that the young Aussie could celebrate.

“I felt like I was dreaming and never wanted to be woken up,” Koloi said.

“It wasn’t until I was on the podium and the anthem was playing that it all started to sink in, and the years of hard work paid off.”

Following her victory, the 22-year-old was embraced by dual Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games gold medallist Maddison Keeney.

Teammates in the women’s three-metre synchronised event during last year’s Diving World Cup following an injury to Keeney’s usual partner, Koloi said that the opportunity gave her a “huge confidence boost” in her career.

“Maddie has always been my diving idol. She is so talented, has a great work ethic, all while being incredibly humble.”

“Being able to train with her day in day out has pushed me so much in my career.”

Describing the win as her proudest achievement to date, Koloi joins Irina Lashko (2003) and Keeney (2017) as the only Australians to win the women’s one-metre springboard at the World Aquatics Championships.

Koloi said that her nomination as Emerging Athlete of the Month was surreal and would be a boost of motivation to continue her hard work.

“It’s like a feeling of validation of all the passion and effort I’ve poured into diving over the years,” Koloi said.

“I am extremely grateful as it is an award I never thought I would receive.”

Koloi now has her sights firmly set on making the Australian Olympic Team headed to Paris in July, with the coming months a mix of training and school visits to tell her story as part of the Olympics Unleashed program of the Australian Olympic Committee.

“I remember being on the receiving end of those talks and found so many of those athletes’ stories inspiring,” Koloi declared.

“It would definitely be a full-circle moment to be able to share my journey with them.”

The Commonwealth Games serves as a platform for developing the future stars of Australian sport and the Emerging Athlete of the Year forms part of a refreshed Awards and Honours program developed by the CGA Heritage and Awards Committee.

The CGA Emerging Athlete of the Year Award celebrates the next generation of Australian sport stars and those that may make an impact for Australia at major sport events in the future.

Over the course of 2024, an athlete will be recognised each month as the Emerging Athlete of the Month and will receive a $500 contribution towards their training and competition expenses.

Three finalists from the monthly winners will then split a $7000 cash prize, with the winner receiving $5000 and the two runners-up $1000 respectively.



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