Strong start to World Series for Aussie Divers

23 March 2018

DIVING: The Australian Diving Team has returned home after a successful campaign at the first two legs of the FINA Diving World Series 2018 in Beijing and Fuji.

The team had a five strong squad competing at the World Series, including three-time Olympian and London silver medallist Melissa Wu and dual Olympian and Rio bronze medallist Anabelle Smith. The team has come home with three medals and four top five performances from the two events.  

25-year-old Smith and Rio Olympian Esther Qin won silver in the women's 3-metre springboard synchro behind Yiwen Chen and Han Wang of China in the first leg of the series that took place in China earlier this month.  

"It felt great to have a solid competition and it was a bonus to win silver," Smith said. 

"I just focused on doing my dives how I do them in training and focusing on my coach's corrections. It gives me great confidence going into Commonwealth Games." 

In the women's 10m platform synchro, Melissa Wu teamed up with South Australia’s Taneka Kovchenko the claim the bronze medal. 26-year-old Wu, who is still recovering from a stress fracture in her back, also competed in the individual 10m platform event at both World Series, finishing 5th and 6th respectively. 

Melissa Wu and Taneka Kovchenko

In the second leg of the World Series, Qin doubled the springboard silver medal performance with Commonwealth Games partner Georgia Sheehan, while Smith secured a start in the individual springboard event finishing 4th. 

"The majority of my World Series competitions have been for synchro so it is still quite nerve racking when I compete at such a high standard event in the 3m individual," Smith said.  

Smith will be lining up to compete in both the synchro and the individual 3-metre springboard event at the remaining two World Series events in Canada and Russia. 

Smith's Rio 2016 Olympic bronze medal partner, Maddison Keeney, sat out of the World Series due to a minor injury but will be recovered in time to compete with Smith at the Commonwealth Games in April and the final World Series events. 

The Australian Diving Team will now focus on the upcoming Commonwealth Games ahead of competing in the third leg of the 2018 FINA Diving World Series in Montreal (CAN), on April 27-29.

Noemie Fox
olympics.com.au

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