Saturday, April 25, 2009

Diving World Series - Sheffield, Great Britian and Mexico City, Mexico

Great Britian
After getting back from Qatar and China, I had two weeks in Brisbane, and then we were off again for competitions 3 and 4 of the Diving World Series. The third stop on the tour was in Sheffield, it took 3 flights and bus ride, but we finally got to Sheffield in just over 35 hours! Below Matt, Mel and I were bored at Heathrow - looking pretty spunky.
We stayed at the Park Inn, which was quite nice. Sharleen, Melissa and I shared a hotel room, which was a little cramped. See the photo of Sharleen touching all the beds at the same time! Poor Melissa was on the fold out bed. We had a few days of training to adjust to the pool and to get over the jet-lag before competitions started on Saturday.  My first event was Women's 3m Synchronised with Sharleen. We dove well with great synchro - we still need to perfect our individual dives. We finished in 3rd place behind China and Russia. 
After the event I was able to catch up with Steve (my Vegas hubby) and Sabrina, who I both met last year on my Contiki tour. They travelled from Glasgow and London to see me dive which was so awesome, and it was great to have a coffee and catch up.
On Sunday Melissa and I had the Women's 10m Synchronised event. We came 3rd, which we were both disappointed with. I had some trouble with the arm swing for our back twist, which meant our synchro was out, and that cost us a silver medal.
Here is a nice group photo of us with the Speed Retarder sign - weird!

The next morning we were off to Mexico City for the 4th and final leg of the 2009 Diving World Series. It took 24 hours to get from the Park Inn in Sheffield to the Holiday Inn in Mexico City. Again we had a few days of training to get use to our new surroundings. The pool in Mexico City is very old, it was built for the 1968 Olympics, and not much has changed.
We had a press conference a day before competition started, there was heaps of media, which was great to see. Although I look a little bored in the photo!
Competition in Mexico started on the Friday, which was the same day that Mexico went crazy with the flu outbreak, with over 60 people dead and over 1000 sick. So FINA had a meeting and a press conference and decided to remove all the spectators from the pool, and only people who needed to be there (coaches,athletes, medics, organisers, TV crew, etc) were allowed to stay for competition. The Opening Ceremony was cancelled and that meant that competition could begin. We were even given masks to wear.

Sharleen and I had the Women's 3m Synchronised event, it was quite hard to not think about it, and pretend that things were normal. We were able to focus and we dove really well. We came 3rd behind China and Russia. The good news is we finished in 2nd place overall in this event for the DWS.

On Saturday Melissa and I had the Women's 10m Synchronised event. Again we had no crowd due to the swine flu. Competition got under way, but just before we did our third dives - a front three and a half somersaults in pike position, some of the lights went out. We did our dive and then all a sudden all the lights went out! Very scary - lucky we weren't in the middle of the dive when the lights went out. The generators were powered up and competiton got under way again after a 15 minute break. Our last two dives were pretty good, and we finished in 2nd place, only a few points off the Chinese pair.
That night we had a farewell dinner, which was of course delicious! Then it was back to the hotel room to pack suitcases and sleep. We left at 6am the next morning, and didn't have any trouble at all getting out of Mexico, through America and to Canada!
It has been an unforgettable week in Mexico, with lots of drama and crazy things going on.
More photos are coming soon.

Wednesday, April 08, 2009

Diving World Series - Doha, Qatar and Changzhou, China

We arrived in Doha and went to the hotel, dropped our bags off and then went camel riding and sand duning - a great way to recover from jet-lag! We had an awesome day, it was so different to anything I had ever done before.
Qatar was such a different place, but I really enjoyed my stay there. The pool was great, so too was the hotel and the food was delicious. There was a shopping centre near the pool called Villagio, it was incredible. It has an Olympic size ice skating rink, also a canal where you can go on a gondola ride. The shops at Villagio include: Prada, D&G, Tiffany, Valentino, Cartier, etc.
Ben and Nick from Great Britian both got Olympic tattoos too, so we all got a photo together!
Unfortunately I didn't compete too well. Sharleen and I came 4th, Melissa and I came 3rd.

We arrived in Shanghai and drove to Changzhou, which was 3 hours by car. It was quite cold in China, a bit of a shock to the system after coming from the desert in Qatar. Both the hotel and pool were great. The hotel was next door to Dinosaur land which looked like fun!
Sharleen and I competed on the first day in Women's 3m synchro -  we dove much better (but with plently of room for improvement) to come 2nd. We were presented with a wooden plaque (instead of a medal) and a minicooker as the sponsor of the meet was Midea. 
The next day was 10m synchro with Melissa, we also dove much better (again still with lots of room for improvement), we also came 2nd and we were presented with our wooden plaque and a flatbread cooker (like a pancake press thingy).