Keeney and Bedggood stand tall
DIVING: Divers Maddison Keeney and Domonic Bedggood were the stand-out performers on another drama-filled day at the Rio qualification event in Melbourne.
Keeney was dominant in a world-class 3-metre springboard final and looks almost certain to be heading to her first Olympics.
And Bedggood finished well ahead in the men’s platform final to consolidate his position as Australia’s number one 10-metre diver.
The drama came in the women’s 3-metre, when Commonwealth Games gold medallist Esther Qin recorded a no dive and finished fourth, leaving her Olympic selection chances in the hands of selectors.
Likewise in the women’s 3-metre springboard, where Qin and Samantha Mills, the reigning world championship bronze medallists, were beaten by Keeney and Anabelle Smith.
Qin and Mills earned Australia it’s Olympic quota at last year’s event.
But while drama was unfolding all around her, Keeney held her nerve.
“I didn’t have to do anything special in order to qualify, and I don’t think I did anything special,” Kenney said.
“I was able to hold my nerve and come out with a good performance. I know that I can do better though and that’s what I strive for.”
I’ve been practicing really hard to fix my nerves, and taking everything into account I’m just really happy with where I’ve come from and what I’m doing now.”
Bedggood also found it hard to talk up his performance, even though he finished well ahead of his nearest rivals.
“Everyone’s emotions are on a roller coaster,” Bedggood said.
“Technically I ticked all the criteria, but personally I was a bit disappointed because I know I can do better than I did.
“It was a bit of a shame for me not to be able to perform the kind of dives I know I’m capable of.”
Bedggood is not wiling yet to start thinking about Rio.
“I won’t believe it until my name is in ink,” he said.
“I’ve got to keep my fingers crossed until Tuesday, until I get that phone call.”
Smith said winning the 3-metre synchro and opening the door for possible Olympic selection has been a long time coming.
“It’s been really stressful,” Smith said.
“Having our nomination trials being one event has taken a toll on everybody.
“It’s been a long preparation, so to come out and perform pretty well in synchro with Maddi has been a great reward for all our effort.”
Australia has qualified two divers in each of the individual event and a women’s 3-metre synchro team for Rio, with selectors expected to finalise the team by Friday
ROSS SOLLY FOR DIVING AUSTRALIA