MITCHAM ADDS SPRING TO HIS STEP FOR ROME
Brisbane, March 1: Today was another day in Matthew Mitcham's office and it was another day of comprehensive brilliance as he again outshone even himself to secure a record fourth title over the three-day Australian Diving Championships, which concluded here today.
Mitcham will celebrate his 21st birthday tomorrow with a rare day off training and a well deserved sleep in - but happy that he is off to this year's FINA World Championships in Rome for three individual events in the best form of his short but illustrious career - and every reason to have a spring in his step.
The jewel in the New South Wales Institute of Sport's sporting crown, did on three-metre springboard what he has yet to achieve on his beloved 10m platform.
He amassed an extraordinary total of 548.95 points - which included six 10s across his amazing repertoire of dives - with his new inward three-and-a-half tuck and a back two-and-a-half pike, the pick of an outstanding crop of six dives in the final.
Mitcham scored 543 points to win the 10m platform on Saturday night, which included six 10s for his inward three-and-a-half, but to outscore those points on springboard certainly surprised the Olympic platform gold medallist.
"That (three metre score) was phenomenonal...I even outscored my platform score, that's unheard of for me," said Mitcham.
"I just seemed to get better and better as the day progressed...the judges must have liked my list and to be quite truthful I certainly haven't dived as good as that in the lead up to this competition.
"But it has given me confidence on three metre that I hope to build on it in the lead up to the World Championships."
And in another major milestone Mitcham becomes only the second diver behind Don Wagstaff to win the one, three and 10 metre treble consecutively and the first diver in Australian Diving history to win four titles in one year - adding the three-metre synchro with Grant Nel.
Joining Mitcham on the Australian team for the World Championships will be NSWIS Olympian Alex Croak, who finished second to Melissa Wu on the women's 10m platform today.
Croak scored 384.50 to Wu's 430 points in the final and it also follows her silver medal on the one metre behind Sharleen Stratton.
NSWIS Head Coach Sobrino said he was "more than satisfied" with the performances of his talented team.
"To have NSWIS divers on the podium in seven events and on the World Championship team for Rome is an outstanding effort," said Sobrino.
"Matthew and Alex are both still improving and that is the exciting part for our program - and for Matthew to win all four events is quite an achievement."
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