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Wu and Keeney in top form at National Championships

25 May 2017

DIVING: Three-time Olympian Melissa Wu has underlined her class to win the women’s platform title at the Australian Open Diving Championships in Sydney, while Rio bronze medallist Maddison Keeney has added another two national titles to her list.

Plus, 16-year-old Matthew Carter has upstaged more fancied rivals to win the men’s 3-metre springboard, and in doing so has presented World Championships selectors with a headache.

25-year-old Wu showed she has made a full recovery from an injury earlier this year by dominating the platform final, and looks certain to compete this year at her fifth World Championships.

She finished with a total of 380.50, which included an 81.60 for her final dive, with Rio teammate Brittany O’Brien second on 325.25.

Wu is enjoying some of the best form of her long career, having won a silver medal and splitting the Chinese Olympic gold and silver medallists at a World Series event in Canada last month. At that competition Wu posted a score of 384.

Keeney celebrated her 21st birthday on Tuesday, the same day she and her Olympic bronze medal partner, Anabelle Smith, won the 3-metre springboard.

On Thursday she added the 1-metre individual and the 3-metre mixed synchro with Domonic Bedggood to her list of Australian Open titles.

With the 3-metre final still to come on Friday, it leaves open the possibility Keeney could contest four events in Budapest.

While she and Commonwealth Games gold medallist Bedggood dominated the mixed event, Keeney had to survive a minor scare in her 1-metre competition.

The Glasgow silver medallist finished second behind NSW’s Esther Qin in the preliminary round, but bounced back to convincingly win the final with 320.60 points, with Qin second on 295.35 points.

Keeney still has the 3-metre springboard final to come on Friday.

Selectors will face a dilemma choosing the team for the men’s 3-metre, after teenager Matthew Carter upset his more fancied rivals to take the title.

But selectors will take into account all three rounds of the competition, and with 2016 Olympian Kevin Chavez finishing top of the leaderboard after the preliminary round, and two-time Olympian James Connor taking the honours in the semi-final, it will make for a tough final decision.

Chavez finished fourth in the final and third in the semi, while Connor’s worst result was second. And 16-year-old Carter has put himself firmly on the selectors’ radar with his consistency over the three rounds, and his steady performance in the high-pressure final.

Australia can take two divers in the 3-metres to Budapest.

The Australian Open and World Championship selection event finishes tomorrow.

Ross Solly
Diving Australia

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