Top divers to compete in World Cup and Olympic test
London: Over 250 of the world`s best divers will compete at the 18th FINA Diving World Cup Feb 20-26, the last qualification opportunity for the 2012 London Olympic Games.
Amongst the world class line-up are Chinese Olympic champions He Chong and Chen Ruolin.
He Chong is 2008 Olympic individual 3m Springboard gold medallist and three-time world champion, while Chen is double Olympic champion, winning both the 10m platform and synchronised 10m platform.
China is known as the dominant force in diving but Matt Mitcham, who will represent Australia at the test event, could threaten their hopes for a gold rush at the World Cup.
Mitcham became the only non-Chinese athlete to win a diving gold medal at the Beijing Olympic Games 2008 when he won the individual 10m platform.
The British team have named 13 athletes, including synchronized 10m pair Tom Daley and Pete Waterfield and rising star Jack Laugher, who is current junior world champion in both the individual 3m springboard and individual 1m springboard.
Tonia Couch, Britain`s most celebrated female diver who placed eighth in the individual 10m platform at the Beijing Games and has finished in the top 10 in the last two FINA World Championships, will also line up for Great Britain.
The competition, which is part of the London Prepares series of test events and supported by Visa, UK Sport and British Swimming, will be the first sporting event to be held at the spectacular Aquatics Centre and the 31st test event to be staged by the London 2012 Organising Committee (LOCOG).
"From everyone`s feedback on the Aquatic Centre, this facility is amazing and will certainly constitute an asset for the success of FINA`s disciplines at the Games`time," FINA (world swimming body) president Julio C. Maglione was quoted as saying by Xinhua.
"I am sure that this World Cup will also be a milestone and I look forward to witnessing the performances of our best athletes during the Olympic celebration," Maglione said.
The event will test key elements of the venue operation and logistics such as lighting, results, scoring, workforce and timing while providing an ideal opportunity for athletes and team officials to compete at the venue ahead of the 2012 Games and offer feedback.