Sunday, July 22, 2007

FINA Diving World Series - 1st Leg - Sheffield, England

For the first time FINA organised a Diving World Series, where over three weeks and in three countries where the 8 best individual divers and the 6 best synchro teams compete. Sharleen, Melissa and I were invited to compete in the Diving World Series. I competed in the Women's 3m Synchronised event with Sharleen and the Women's 10m Synchronised event with Melissa.
The first of three competitions was held in Sheffield, England on the 1st and 2nd of September. We left on Wednesday morning, flying to Bangkok, then onto Frankfurt and finally to Manchester, then it was a 90 minute bus ride to Sheffield. We arrived at the Novotel at 1am, and I went straight to bed. It took us 35 hours from Brisbane to Sheffield! The Novotel was very nice, I had a room to myself which had a lovely view of the of English countryside.

The competition was being held at the Ponds Forge International Sports Centre, which was a nice 10 minute walk from the hotel. The pool was nice, the springboards weren't too bad and the 10m platform was good, there was a small dryland which had trampolines, dryboards and mats.

The food at the Novotel was simply excellent, I have never eaten so well on a diving trip. Lunch and dinner were three courses and we had a choice of three for each. We were eating prawn salad, lamb steak, salmon, chocolate brownie, fruit salad, lemon tart - it was exceptional food.
Sharleen and I managed to fit in some shopping, we went to Primark where I bought a few tops, shorts and skirts, and then it was off to Top shop and H&M for more retail therapy. We also went for a great walk around the street of Sheffield, we found the Millennium Gardens which was a huge indoor garden, with plants from all over the world, it was beautiful.

We also found the Sheffield City Town Hall, which was amazing and truly massive. We also came across other iconic English things such as black cab and red telephone boxes.

On the 1st of September, Sharleen and I had the Women’s 3m synchro event. There were 6 teams and we dove in reverse order of placings from World Championships, so there was: Great Britain, Russia, Ukraine, Australia, Germany and China. The competition started at 3pm, after the Opening Ceremony. Our inward dive, reverse dive and back twist were good. My back 2.5 felt good, Sharleen was over and then on our last dive which was front 2.5 with 1 twist, mine again felt good, Sharleen's legs were a bit bent at the end. We finished a disappointing 5th, we were only 1.5 points from 3rd place, very frustrating.
The next day Melissa and I had 10m synchro, again there were 6 teams: Great Britain, Russia, Canada, Germany, Australia and China. Our first two dives inward and reverse were ok but not great. Our front 3.5 wasn't great either, our synchro was a bit out and mine was over. We needed to do two good dives to get into the medals, next was inward 3.5, we both did good dives and had good synchro. Our last dive was back 2.5 with 1.5 twist, we both did good dives and had good synchro! China won then Canadian and us in 3rd place.

The next day at 4:45am we were up and on a bus back to Manchester, now heading to Mexico, for the second stop in the World Diving Series.