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Diving - let the Games begin

25 July 2002

Diving, as part of the swimming events, is one of only three sports to have been an ever-present at each Commonwealth Games since they were first staged 62 years ago.

Rosshari Sham Roslan

Rosshari Sham Roslan of Malaysia makes a dive during diving training at the Manchester Aquatics centre

Aquatics at the Games is practised in three forms with diving beginning on the day of the Opening Ceremony.

In total, divers will compete in six events - the one-metre and three-metre springboards and the 10-metre highboard for both men and women.

Divers have to perform with great nerve, strength, agility, grace and gymnastic skill, delivering a combination of moves before entering the water with as little disruption to the surface as possible.

They are judged with marks out of 10 for difficulty and accomplishment. The top and bottom marks are discarded, leaving an aggregate score for the dive which is then multiplied by the difficulty co-efficient to give the diver his or her score for that round.

Canada has the Commonwealth’s top divers at present, both in the women’s and in men’s events, with Alexandre Despatie, gold medallist in the highboard in Kuala Lumpur four years ago when aged just 13, returning to the Games and again tipped for glory.

Another Canadian, Blythe Hartley, the one-metre springboard world champion, is also among the favourites for gold in Manchester.

The Manchester Aquatics Centre is one of the jewels in the crown of the city’s new sporting facilities. Costing £32 million and built specifically for the Games, the venue includes two 50-metre pools plus outstanding diving facilities which will see it used as a centre of excellence for many years to come.

Info News Service/sd/pjt

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