Sunday, September 09, 2007

FINA Diving World Series - 3rd Leg - Nanjing, China

We left Mexico very early on the 9th of September, we flew to San Francisco and arrived at 10am. Our flight to Shanghai was delayed a few hours, so we caught the train to downtown San Francisco. We walked around for a few hours, checking out some of the local sights, it was a really fun day out, much better than sitting in the airport.

Finally our flight to Shanghai was boarded, and for some unknown reason the four of us were upgraded to business class. It was awesome, I could lie almost flat and I had prawns for dinner! We arrived in Shanghai, and then were taken by bus to Nanjing which took 5 hours. We arrived at the Jiangsu Zixin International Hotel at 1am. The hotel was very nice, I shared a room with Sharleen up on the 21st floor. The food in the hotel was pretty average, I ate lots of fried rice, bok choy and watermelon.

The pool at Nanjing was fantastic, one of the best pools I have ever dived at. The pool was almost brand new and it was clean! The springboards were good and the platform was nice too, I'm getting use to the bamboo matting platform surface. The first photo is of the pool from the lift in the hotel. The fourth photo is of Melissa doing a back twist off 5m, while I was standing on 10m platform. Dad took some fast speed photos of Sharleen and I doing synchro, the three photos are of the same dive.

We went shopping a few times in Nanjing, at the markets we bought DVD's, wallets, belts and some Chinese souvenirs. We also went to the supermarket to stock up on some food, I bought some lollies and biscuits.

On the 15th of September, Sharleen and I had 3m synchro. Sharleen and I dove really well, didn't miss a dive. The Chinese and Russian pairs also dove really well and didn't miss a dive either. We came 3rd behind the Chinese and Russian pairs, but we score 317 points which is an international PB score for us! We were awarded with a beautiful glass trophy.

On the 16th of September, Melissa and I had 10m synchro. Our first three dives - inward dive, reverse dive and front 3.5 were excellent and we were actually in the lead. Next dive was inward 3.5, I was a tad short but Melissa was way over. Our final dive was back twist, we nailed it, to finish with 340 points and in 2nd place, just 12 points behind the Chinese!

That night was the farewell dinner, which included traditional Chinese entertainment of musical performances, dancing and singing. Sharleen and I got into the Chinese spirit and ate cake with chopsticks! The Australian Team (L-R) : me, Sharleen, Melissa and Xiangning.

On the 17th of September we had another early start at 5am, getting a bus to the Nanjing train station, and then caught the bullet train to Shanghai train station, which took only 2 hours! Then it was an hour bus ride to the Shanghai Airport, where I said goodbye to dad, as he was on his way home to Melbourne. We flew to Singapore and then to Brisbane. I was so excited about being back to Australia - good food and clean air!
It was a great trip, very long and very tiring, but I learnt a lot and produced some great results too. We got two silver medals and two bronze, which resulted in us getting third place overall in both the synchro events!