Making a Splash: Petrov honoured as inaugural Commonwealth Games Australia Emerging Athlete of the Year


By Tyler Parker

Celebrating the emerging talent in Australian sport and paying homage to inspiring performances and community contribution, Petrov’s achievement comes off the back of a successful year in the pool.

Making her Commonwealth Games debut at Birmingham in 2022, Petrov was Australia’s youngest athlete out of the 429-strong cohort, aged just 14.

With age proving just a number, the diving prodigy claimed gold with stalwart diver Melissa Wu in the Women’s Synchronised 10m Platform. Proclaimed the ‘master and apprentice’, Petrov said it was “the most amazing thing ever”.

This performance was also complemented by a strong showing at the FINA World Junior Diving Championships 2022, where she claimed two gold medals, as well as a debut at the World Championships in Budapest.

Showing that age is no barrier, Petrov’s passion for diving came from her local swim school, where she “would always see the dive boards… and have the ambition to jump off the boards and do as many flips as possible” – an idea that hasn’t changed all too much. She would see divers flipping and twirling through the air and knew that one day it would be her.

Competing in both gymnastics and swimming, the move to diving was a natural progression and the thought of springing and jumping from the boards excited young Petrov.

Although Mum’s (Esmeralda) original response was ‘absolutely not’, Petrov got her way and has credited her success to her support network, saying “it has been a group effort for my coach, family and support team, who have put a lot into making my training hours possible”.

A member of the VIS, Petrov has trained morning and night for six days a week for almost four years now all whilst balancing school studies. A testament to her commitment to the sport, Petrov is motivated to “compete for [her] country on the world’s biggest stages” and is a shining example for any aspiring young athlete.



Presented with the award at the recent Commonwealth Games Australia President’s Dinner, Petrov said “I am so grateful for the countless opportunities CGA constantly has to offer me in my professional sporting career. Being named the Inaugural Emerging Athlete of the Year is so honouring and I am excited to see the future athletes experience the same joy and excitement I feel about this award”.

“The support I have been shown by CGA over the past year has been so amazing and the guidance I’ve been given by CGA has really helped shape me into the athlete I am today.

Receiving this reward is another layer of support the CGA community has given me and I have no doubt that their support will help me grow with my sport and achievements”.

Bringing youthful enthusiasm and excitement to the Australian team, Petrov’s announcement as CGA’s Emerging Athlete of the Year stands for all the hard work and effort put into her journey thus far – one that is set to shine moving forwards.

With Victoria 2026 on the horizon, Petrov said it “will be such an amazing experience to represent the green and gold in front of a home crowd”.



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