The Australian Divers are in London preparing for the Olympic Games, getting ready to compete on the world stage. Chava Sobrino is the experienced Head Coach of the Australian Diving Team. He has found the preparation for London has been “good.” He is in charge of two Australian divers, Melissa Wu and Matthew Mitcham. Both athletes are competing at the very end of the Olympics in the ten metre individual platform.
Chava says “both are going OK so far…training hard.” Although he says “they are dealing with a couple of injuries (but) so far it’s (the injuries) are OK.” He says Matthew’s injuries are, in particular, in danger of “flaring” again but that cannot be prevented. Chava says he can see that Matthew is very relaxed in the lead up and the pressure is going to be on British diver Tom Daily who is in form.
He says for both Melissa and Matthew “the quieter we can train the better.” He says the quiet manner of training helps the divers to have good preparation heading into the Olympics. He says as far keeping things low key for Matthew it has been good “and the same for Melissa.”
The Australian divers have a squad of 10, with a mix of youth and experience. Besides Melissa and Matthew, “Sharleen Stratton (is also going to her) second Olympics.” Then there are the others including Brittany Broben going to their first games.
This is Chava’s seventh Olympics and says “its stressful but it’s a good environment.” He says the all the divers like music to train to and says “Matthew is in charge of the music.” He says they try to keep it relaxed low key but as structured an environment as possible.
He says both Melissa and Matthew train hard, as do all the divers. where they train everyday from six in the morning and finish around eight am. In the afternoon from two pm till 4.30pm, depending what they have to do. On Saturdays they have a water session and also do a weights program. They particularly focus on strength and fitness with a “dry run session. (This) means somersaults and flips.” The afternoon session is warm ups and stretches.
One of the strange aspects of diving is it has nothing really to do with swimming. Chava says “some of our divers are actually really bad swimmers.” He says there is no relationship between swimming and diving.
These ten divers with youth and experience should be competitive and entertaining as they represent their country at the elite level of the Olympics.
By Peter McAlpine