Divers ready to compete for places on World Championships team
22 May 2017
DIVING: Australia’s best divers will be in action at the Sydney Aquatic Centre at Homebush as they compete for places on the national team for this year’s World Aquatics Championships in Budapest.
Leading the charge will be Rio Olympic 3-metre synchro bronze medallists, Anabelle Smith and Maddison Keeney, and Olympic and Commonwealth Games veteran, Melissa Wu.
The event, which also doubles as the Australian Open Championships, will also provide the squad with another high-pressure event, as they prepare for next year’s Commonwealth Games on the Gold Coast.
Once again the women’s 3-metre springboard is expected to be the toughest event, with Keeney and Smith, Commonwealth Games gold medallist, Esther Qin, and World junior champion, Georgia Sheehan, all vying for the two places on the team.
Qin and Sheehan will also take on Keeney and Smith in the 3-metre synchro, with only one team to qualify for Budapest.
Keeney will also be looking to impress in the 1-metre springboard, a non-Olympic event which is part of the World Championships and Commonwealth Games programs.
It’s an event in which Keeney has dominated in the past because of the high degree of difficulty attached to her dive list.
Wu comes into this week’s event in top form, having clinched a platform silver medal at last month’s World Series event in Canada.
It was her first major individual event since a serious back injury forced her to take a break from the sport post-Rio.
Next year she will be aiming for her fourth Commonwealth Games, and her second in Australia after making her debut as a 14-year-old in Melbourne in 2006.
Wu will team up with South Australia’s Taneka Kovchenko in the women’s platform.
In the men’s event 2014 Commonwealth Games synchro gold medallist, Domonic Bedggood, will be teaming up with former elite gymnast Declan Stacey, in the platform synchro.
Bedggood partnered Beijing gold medallist Matthew Mitcham in Glasgow, and competed at last year’s Rio Olympics in the individual event after Australia failed to qualify a men’s synchro team.
Bedggood will also compete in the two mixed synchro events this week, a new event on the World Championships program.
He’ll dive with Keeney in the 3-metre, and with Wu in the platform.
US-based double Olympian, James Connor, will be back in Australia and competing in the 3-metre and 1-metre springboard, alongside Mexican-born 2016 Olympian, Kevin Chavez.
The Australian Open Championships and World Championship selection trials begin on Tuesday, and finish on Friday.