Aussie duo's silver lining and words of wisdom from a legend
5 June 2006
Australia’s latest diving duo Melissa Wu and Alex Croak have added a further silver lining to their FINA Grand Prix results in Rome, finishing second in the 10 metre synchro final, earning special praise from Italy’s Olympic diving legend Klaus Dibiasi.
The never-say-die Australian pair had to pull out all stops after a shaky competition, which saw Sydney 2000 Olympic gymnast Croak bang her feet on the platform on their third dive, an inward two-and-half in pike.
It followed Wu’s stunning individual performance in the individual 10m platform which saw her overcome freezing conditions, including rain, hail and strong winds to finish second, with Croak a close up fifth.
Conditions improved for the final day with sunshine and a light breeze and the Commonwealth Games silver medallists, came from behind to pass the Great Britain and Italian teams in the final dive to move from fourth to second.
In the end it was the China first on 301 points, with Australia second on 278 and Great Britain third on 258.
Australian High Performance Manager, Brendan Purcell said the Australian pair started solidly but executed their third and fourth dives poorly, leaving them fourth going into the final round.
“On their third dive - an inward two and half in pike - Alex hit the platform with her feet causing her to lose the rhythm of her somersaults and she come out at the wrong time.
“Their final dive was their back twister - a dive both athletes like to rip and they were able to jump into second place, putting a 20 point gap on third but unable to catch the Chinese.
“The girls were disappointed with their competition but took strength from their ability to come over the top of the Brits and Italy on the last dive and some words of encouragement during the presentation,” Purcell said.
An added bonus for the emerging pair came from Italian diving legend, triple Olympic platform gold medallist from 1964, 1968 and 1972, Klaus Dibiasi, who presented the girls with their silver medals.
“Very impressive girls – you have a very bright future,” Dibiasi told the pair.
They will fly home today with Diving Australia set to name the team next week that will represent Australia at the prestigious FINA World Cup in China later in the year.