Aidan Heslop swapped the cliffs for the platform as he improved on the 10m Platform score from the Gold Coast Commonwealth Games four years ago.
The 19-year-old added more than 12 points to the total he earned out in Australia as he finished eighth in a strong final at Sandwell Aquatics Centre.
And Heslop was delighted to see an improved score on the board at Birmingham.
“I’m happy with the competition, there are a few things I could have done differently to bump my score up but it’s an improvement on four years ago,” he said. “To be training for this alongside the high diving has made it harder but I’m content with my work here, I’ve accomplished what I came here to do.
“The cliff diving and platform stuff go hand in hand but it’s definitely harder as you have to be so specific. To come and get over 400 points is great, I’m happy.
“Representing Wales means so much to me, and especially for my mum. To come back and get the support from the Welsh crowd is so nice.”
A Welsh athlete returned to the Sandwell Aquatics Centre after a two-day hiatus as Heslop swapped the Red Bull Cliff Diving Series for the 10m Platform at the Birmingham Commonwealth Games. As a 15-year-old, Heslop had made his Commonwealth debut on the Gold Coast four years earlier where he finished sixth with an impressive score of 395.95.
If Aidan was to repeat or improve on his maiden performance, he would first have to negotiate the preliminary round. With 14 athletes competing, Heslop would have to place in the top 12 to make it into the evening finale.
After the first two rounds of dives, Heslop had laid a fairly solid foundation with a score of 98.40 to move 13 points clear of the two elimination places. The 19-year-old upped the ante in round three with an Armstand Back Double Somersault 2½ Twists dive. It was the most difficult dive he had attempted, but he rose to the challenge to score sevens across the board for a dive score of 75.60.
At the halfway mark, Heslop sat sixth in the standings 52.05 points off top spot and crucially 32 points clear of the 13th placed diver. He all-but secured his place in the final 12 in round five with a well-executed Back 3½ Somersaults to again score sevens across the board for a dive score of 69.30.
Heslop saved his most difficult dive until last. His Forward 2½ Somersaults 3 Twists had a 3.8 degree of difficulty, and despite not nailing the execution, he still came away with a score of 55.10 to qualify for the final in ninth with a total score of 341.60.
Aidan kicked off the final with a solid score of 61.20 from an opening Reverse 3½ Somersaults dive before following that up with Forward 3½ Somersaults that earned 61.50 points.
He chose to up the difficulty with an Armstand Back Double Somersault 2½ Twists in his third dive, and the decision paid off. Scores of 8.0, 8.0 and 7.5 were just rewards for an excellent effort as he jumped two places up the leader board in his hunt for a medal. After round four, Heslop sat eighth, needing two big dives to reignite his medal hopes.
His fifth dive, Back 3 ½ Somersaults Tuck, earned him 69.30 points, and he finished with his most difficult dive of the evening, Forward 2½ Somersaults 3 Twists, worth 72.20 points to secure him eighth with a total of 408.00 – 12.05 more points than he took from the Gold Coast, where he finished fifth.