Barnard out of 10m platform

19 January 2013

DIVING: Celebrated Australian junior diver Matthew Barnard was a favourite to win the 10m platform in Sunday’s diving finals, but has had to withdraw due to a muscle injury.

“I was up to my final dive of a training session and as soon as I took off I felt a sharp pain in my lower right abdomen and I knew there was something wrong.”

The 17-year-old won international acclaim, only just missing out on selection for the Beijing Olympics after coming second to gold-medallist Matthew Mitcham at the 2012 Australian Open in Adelaide.

“I’m really disappointed," Barnard said. "10m platform is my pet event and I think I had a really good shot in it.” He isn’t completely out of the game though. Barnard competed in the 3m springboard event on Friday and is expected to perform in the 3m knockout competition on Sunday afternoon.

The West Australian said that the injury hasn’t damaged him physically in regards to the 3m springboard event, although it has had an affect on him mentally.

"I went into this competition expecting to have a real shot at it and [having to withdraw] really played on my mind.”

Although he is unable to perform to the best of his ability, he hasn’t stopped training completely.

“It’s kind of just stepping back a bit, so that when I do get back into the water, I can go hard.”

Barnard has spent his extra downtime soaking up the Olympic experience.

“This is so different to any other international competition,” he said. “You’re not just here with divers, you’re here with swimmers, wrestlers… everyone really. I think that gives a whole Australian team feel to the whole thing and I think that’s really positive. I’ve made a lot of lifelong friends at this competition.”

Hannah Moore

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