14.04.2008 – Nick Bailey
Sydney University diver Alex Croak is on the brink of making history in the coming months, after finishing second in the 10m platform category at the Australian Olympic Selection Trials in Hobart on the weekend.
Croak scored 78.20 in her final dive of the event to finish second behind Melissa Wu and all but book her place in the Australian diving team for Beijing.
She is hoping to become one of a select few athletes to have represented Australia in two different sports in Olympic competition.
The 23-year-old Croak represented Australia at the 2000 Sydney Olympics as a gymnast, and won an all-round gymnastics team gold medal and individual vault silver medal at the 2002 Commonwealth Games in Manchester.
She then retired from competitive sport altogether until itchy sporting feet just a year later led her to write to renowned NSWIS diving coach Chava Sobrino, to ask him to take her on as a “mature age” diving student.
He accepted the offer and the partnership quickly reaped rewards as Alex won silver at the 2006 Commonwealth Games in the synchronised 10m platform event with a then 13-year-old Wu.
She has now been named on the nine-strong team for the FINA Grand Prix event in Montreal and Fort Lauderdale next month, the final event before the official naming of the team on May 27 in Brisbane.
Olympic selection would make Croak the first Australian to compete in two different disciplines since Nova Peris achieved the feat by winning gold with the Hockeyroos in Atlanta in 1996 and representing Australia in athletics in 2000.