Sydney University will be represented by two divers at the 2012 Olympic Games, after Matthew Mitcham and Loudy Wiggins (Tourky) were named in the 10-strong diving squad that will head to London.
Leading the Australian charge will be defending 10m Olympic Champion Matthew Mitcham (current Sydney University Elite Athlete Program scholarship holder) and soon-to-be four time Olympian Loudy Wiggins (former Sydney University Elite Athlete Program scholarship holder).
Beijing served up one of Australia’s most famous diving victories when Mitcham came from behind as he recorded the dive of his life to snatch the gold from China’s Zhou Luxin who led the competition by over 30 points going into the final round of dives.
Having been there before, Mitcham (B. Arts) knows the importance the final stretch into the Olympics will have in a successful Olympic campaign.
“With less than 60 days to go until the Olympics kick off the excitement and anticipation is not going to wane,” the 24-year-old said.
“Being this close gives you the motivation to train as hard as ever so I can put in the best performance and make myself and country proud.”
With the Olympic Champion usually having a target on their back, Mitcham admits that his injuries have kept him from his best in recent times.
“I feel like the underdog again in London. I’ve had a few injuries that have kept me from my best but it is good to go in without all that pressure. No one expects me to win and I feel more comfortable when I am in that position.
“I believe I can win gold again in London. I’ve done it before and know what it takes.”
Loudy Wiggins (B. Arts (Media & Communications) Graduate) will join fellow Australian hall of fame diver Jenny Donnet as the only Australian to compete at four Olympic Games when she joins partner Rachel Bugg in the 10m platform synchronised event.
Wiggins, a three time SUSF ‘Sportswoman of the Year’ award winner, became the first Australian to win a diving medal since Dick Eve in 1924 when she won bronze in Sydney in the 10m platform synchronised before achieving the same result four years later in the individual 10m platform in Athens.
All of the athletes, apart from Mitcham who will remain in Australia to catch up on training he missed during his lay off, will now head to the FINA Spanish Grand Prix (June 15 – 17).
Mitcham and Wiggins have now joined fellow Sydney University representatives Ed Fernon (Modern Pentathlon), Murray Stewart (Canoe/Kayak – Sprint), Jessica Fox and Kynan Maley (Canoe/Kayak – Slalom) who have been named to represent Australia at the 2012 Olympic Games.
Goalball squad member Jennifer Blow has been selected in the Australian Paralympic Games team.
This article has been adapted from John Purnell’s article from Diving Australia.