Diving wrap up

12 August 2012

DIVING: Something old, something borrowed, something new and something blue…  It’s a well-worn wedding phrase and one which probably sums up Australia’s diving campaign at the 2012 London Olympic Games.

For 33 year-old triple Olympian Loudy Wiggins, the something old came in the fact the she was competing in Atlanta in 1996 when our only medallist in London, Brittany Broben, was still in nappies.  Wiggins, a mother herself and one of many on the entire Australian team to make a successful comeback, partnered Rachel Bugg in the 10 metre platform synchro to finish fourth, just eight points out of the medals.

The something borrowed, would have to be our Australian diving coaches, Hui Tong and Chen Xiangning from China who join with Mexican Chava Sobrino to produce a team which regularly contends for medals alongside the diving super powers of China, the US and Mexico. Diving is one sport where Australia truly punch above their weight, and such coaching expertise is evident on the world circuit and their consistent rankings.

For the ‘something new’….well you can’t go past ‘Great Britt’ – 16 year-old Brittany Broben who dove into stardom from the 10m platform with a silver medal performance and a golden schoolgirl smile.  The youngest member of the entire Australian Team, Broben showed she has a huge future in the sport and certainly has the skills and composure to take on the best. Her ability to focus on the job at hand, and block out all external factors showed experience in spades, all good signs for Rio 2016. 

Broben was joined as an Olympic rookie in London by Annabelle Smith (5th in the 3m synchro), James Connor (20th in the 10m platform), Ethan Warren (7th in the 3m spring) and Jaele Patrick who finished 11th in the final of the women’s 3m springboard.

With two fifths to her name in the synchronised 3m springboard, and then individual 3m springboard, Sharleen Stratton was able to improve on her performance from Beijing, while the something blue of the meet may well just have to go to Beijing gold medallist Matthew Mitcham.

Mitcham missed the final of the men’s 10m platform by just one place and his disappointment on pool deck was evident. A disappointing preparation due to injury and having to compete with a reduced degree of difficulty, Mitcham was always realistic about his chances of back-to-back gold, but still strived for that perfect score. Picking up one 10 in his final competition in London, Mitcham found solace in the clear fact that he had given his all… and few could argue just how critical that has been for the sport of diving over the last four years.

Lachlan Searle in London


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