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Qin and Bedggood impress on final day of Australian Open

26 May 2017

DIVING: Commonwealth Games gold medallist Esther Qin has claimed the national 3-metre springboard diving title in a thrilling end to the Australian Open and World Championship selection trials in Sydney.

Plus, fellow Glasgow gold medallist Domonic Bedggood has posted a remarkable 521 to deliver a resounding win in the men’s platform final to secure his third title of the week.

Once again the men’s springboard competition was an even tussle, with James Connor taking the 1-metre title after Kevin Chavez led the field after the preliminary round.

The women’s 3-metre competition lived up to it’s billing as one of the most hard-fought contests of the week, with NSW’s Qin finishing strongly to edge out Rio synchro bronze medallists Anabelle Smith and Maddison Keeney.

Smith led the competition for the first three rounds, but Qin, who won 3-metre gold in Glasgow and finished sixth in Rio last year, had the stronger finish, posting a score of 347.15 to just edge Smith’s 344.50.

Keeney, who headed the field after the preliminary and semi-final rounds, finished third with 332.90, once again providing a quandary for selectors who can nominate two divers for the World Championships.

The consistent Smith was second in all three rounds, while Qin was third in the preliminary and semi-final rounds.

By contrast Bedggood dominated the men’s platform competition, posting an impressive 521.95 in the final after scoring nines in all but one round of the six-round final.

Bedggood won gold with Matthew Mitcham in the platform synchro in Glasgow, and finished 12th in the individual competition in Rio with a score more than 100 points less than his total on Friday.

Declan Stacey, competing in his first Australian Open since moving from gymnastics to diving, was second on 444.10 points.

Connor, who dived in the platform competition at the Rio and London Olympics, secured the one-metre title on Friday.

Chavez briefly took the lead after the second dive, but Connor was able to finish the stronger to take the title with 407.15 points, Chavez finishing on 393.35.

The result reversed the finish order from the preliminary round.

Australian selectors are expected to announce this weekend the squad for this year’s World Aquatics Championships in Budapest.

Ross Solly
Diving Australia

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