Saturday, March 08, 2008

World Cup - Beijing China and China Cup - Shenzhen

On the 15th of February I was off to China to dive at the World Cup in Beijing. I was really looking forward to competing in the Water Cube, which is the Beijing Olympic pool. The Australian team included: Mathew Helm, Matthew Mitcham, Chantelle Newbery, Robert Newbery, Scott Robertson, Sharleen Stratton, Loudy Wiggins, Melissa Wu and myself. I was competing in two events, 10m synchronised with Melissa and 3m synchronised with Sharleen.

The Water Cube is an amazing pool. The diving pool is great, so to was the warm up area. The bubbles of the water cube feel like a jumping castle, and at night when they turn the light on it really look spectacular. We had a few days of training before competition started.
My first event was on the 21st of February and it was the Women’s 10m Synchronised with Melissa Wu. In the morning we had preliminaries where 16 pairs of girls were vying for a finals position. Melissa and I dove well to finish in 3rd. A few hours later we were back at the pool and getting ready for the finals with warm up exercise and land somersaults. Our final started at 8:45pm, which is quite late especially as it wouldn’t be unusual for me to be in bed at that time. We also had to deal with the loud fireworks going off outside as it was the last night in the celebrations of Chinese New Year. Melissa and I dove very well in the finals scoring lots of 8’s and 9’s to finish in 3rd place, only a few points off 2nd place Canada. After the medal ceremony we were off to the press conference and finally back at the hotel at 11pm.

On the 24th of February I had the Women’s 3m Synchronised event with Sharleen Stratton. Again preliminaries were in the morning, with 20 pairs of girls competing for final positions. Sharleen and I dove good, but the competition was tough and we were in 5th place. We had a few hours at the hotel then back at the pool for another 8:45pm final. In the final we did four very good dives, and I did one average one, and that was enough to push us back to 8th place. It was a disappointing result but we weren’t too many points from the podium.

We were able to get one day of shopping in at the markets before flying off to Shenzhen for the Chinese Grand Prix meet. Shenzhen is on mainland China, however Hong Kong is a 40 minute drive away.

In Shenzhen I celebrated my 25th birthday on the 28th of February, they organised a cake and sung me Happy Birthday which was very nice. My first competition in Shenzhen was the Women’s 3m Synchro with Sharleen, we both dove very well to finish in 2nd place. I also competed in the Women’s 3m event where I finished in 8th place from 25 girls.

Before flying back to Brisbane, we had a day in Hong Kong so Sharleen and I decided to go to Disneyland! I had a great time, went on the rides and watched some shows, it was a really fun day out.