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Keeney snatches gold in final dive

30 April 2015

DIVING: Perth teenager Maddison Keeney left it to her final dive to snatch gold in the women’s 1-metre springboard final at the Australian Open Diving Championships in Brisbane.

The Commonwealth Games silver medallist overtook 3-metre specialist Esther Qin to finish with 291.15 points, with Qin on 286.95 and Queensland 15-year-old, Georgia Sheehan, third on 266.35.

18-year-old Keeney, who performs dives with a higher degree of difficulty than most other competitors, left her high-scoring dives to the end of the competition.

She was sitting sixth after the first round, and fifth after two dives, before climbing through the field with her final three dives to defend the title she won last year.

The trio will do battle again on Friday in the early rounds of the women’s 3-metre springboard.

Qin will start favourite for the event after winning gold at last year’s Commonwealth Games, and silver at a recent FINA Grand Prix event in Canada.

The quality field will also include Olympian Anabelle Smith and University Games gold medallist, Samantha Mills.

In other events on the opening day of competition, two-time Commonwealth Games medallist, Grant Nel, qualified just ahead of US-based Victorian, James Connor, for Saturday’s 3-metre semi-final.

Nel finished just over one point ahead of Connor, with Beijing gold medallist Matthew Mitcham qualifying third.

And two-time Olympian Melissa Wu showed glimpses of her very best form by qualifying first for this weekend’s platform final.

Wu posted a score of 344.80, to finish 50 points clear of Queensland’s Emily Meaney, with promising New South Wales junior, Brittany O’Brien, in third.

“I’ve got a whole lot of experience now, I’ve done a lot of competitions so I rely on all the skills I’ve learnt along the way to focus,” Wu said.

“I’ve recently learnt to appreciate everything in my life a lot more, so diving is probably a lot more important now than it was before.”

ROSS SOLLY FOR DIVING AUSTRALIA

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