Friday, 9 July 2010

Australia announce diving team for Common Wealth Games

Australia announced a 12 member diving team bound for 2010 Commonwealth Games in Delhi. The team led by Olympic gold medalist Matthew Mitcham is set to prove its dominance in the medal tally at Delhi games.

Mitcham’s performance in the Commonwealth Games diving trials held in Perth earlier this week qualified him for four events, despite him confessing injury concerns about his heavy workload.

He will compete in the 1m springboard, 10m platform, 3m springboard synchro and 10m platform synchro events at the Commonwealth Games in October.

(Commonwealth Games diving events and schedule)

"I was very happy with my form throughout these trials," Mitcham said.

"I was a bit nervous going into the trials but finished strongly yesterday in my favourite 10m platform event and I’m very happy to be in the team."

Mitcham shot to prominence with his breakout performance at the 2008 Beijing Olympics when his last dive gave him a near-perfect score to win gold and has since been competing in gruelling international competition as he targets a similar result at the 2012 London Olympics.

Mitcham will be joined by 11 other divers, including reigning Commonwealth Games champions Sharleen Stratton and Briony Cole who will be chasing back-to-back gold medals in the 3m springboard synchro event in Delhi.

Alexandra Croak was added to the squad despite pulling out from the trials with a back injury and will have to undergo a fitness test to see if she can compete.

Croak, who has the unique distinction of being the only Australian to medal in two different sports at the Commonwealth Games – gymnastics and diving – will join Beijing Olympic silver medalist Melissa Wu in the 10m platform synchro event.

Victorian James O’Connor, 15, is the youngest member of the team and will make his Commonwealth Games debut with Anabelle Smith (VIC), Olivia Wright (NSW), Jaele Patrick (VIC), Ethan Warren (QLD) and Grant Nel (VIC).

Diving Australia High Performance Manager Graeme Rose said it was expected the current Australian diving team would continue the tradition of winning high number of medals at Commonwealth Games.

"Australia will face tough opposition from Canada, England and Malaysia, however this team is one of our strongest teams to represent Australia at Commonwealth Games," he said.

"The team is a nice blend of experience and youth and we’re expecting to do quite well."

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