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Wu sets herself new challenge at fifth World Diving Championships

14 July 2017

DIVING: Despite being Australia’s most experienced diver, Melissa Wu will attempt something she has never tried at an international competition in Budapest over the next week.
For the first time ever Wu will compete in four events at a competition, an enormous workload but one which the 25-year-old veteran of three Olympic Games is looking forward to.
As well as the individual platform event, Wu will also compete in the platform synchro alongside South Australia’s Taneka Kovchenko, the mixed platform synchro with Commonwealth Games gold medallist Domonic Bedggood, and the brand new mixed 3m and 10m team event with teenager Matthew Carter.
“I'm feeling good going into this World Championships,” Wu said from Budapest.
“I'm excited to be competing in this pool and to be able to compete in a city I haven't been to before.
“And I'm looking forward to the challenge of competing in four events, which is the biggest load I've ever had in a competition.”
Budapest has built a new facility for the event, and Wu, who will be competing at her fifth World Championships, said it is easily one of the best facilities she has been to.
And she said the Australian team has benefitted from a pre-event training camp in the UK.
“The venue here in Budapest is absolutely amazing,” she said.
“The pool and the boards are all great and the dryland facility is the best we've ever had at a competition venue.
“We went to Leeds in the UK for our pre-World Championship training camp, which was incredibly beneficial prior to arriving in Budapest. It gave us the opportunity to adjust to the time difference and get over jet lag so that when we arrived here we could make the most of the training days and feel more energised going into competition.
“It was great and I can definitely feel the difference that a few extra days of aclimatising has made.”
Australia has a 10-strong squad competing in Budapest, including Olympic medalists Wu, Anabelle Smith and Maddison Keeney, Commonwealth Games gold medalists Domonic Bedggood and Esther Qin, and Olympians Kevin Chavez and James Connor round out the 7 from Rio.
The newcomers are 16-year-old South Australian Matthew Carter (who will also partner Kevin Chavez in 3 metre Synchro), Kovchenko (who will contest both the individual 10m and partner Wu in 10m Synchro) and former elite gymnast Declan Stacey (who will compete individually and also partner Bedggood in 10m Synchro). 
The preliminary rounds of the men’s and women’s 1-metre springboard will get the competition underway on Friday evening, AEST, the only non-medal day of competiion.
Keeney is a strong medal prospect in the 1-metre, with Qin also expected to perform strongly.
Olympians Chavez and Connor will contest the men's event.

Ross Solly
Diving Australia

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