Australian divers hunting Olympic Games quota spots

Steve Larkin |

Sam Fricker hopes to earn Australia an Olympic quota spot at the Oceania diving championships.
Sam Fricker hopes to earn Australia an Olympic quota spot at the Oceania diving championships.

A batch of emerging divers are tipped to pressure stalwarts as Australia seek Olympic quota spots at the Oceania championships.

Four quota spots for next year’s Paris Olympics are on offer at the two-day Oceania titles in Brisbane starting on Thursday.

“With so much at stake, the Oceania championships is a big occasion for all athletes, particularly those emerging in the sport,” Diving Australia’s performance director Steve Foley said.

“There’s a good mix of youth and experience amongst the team and we expect the competition to be close … we have some exciting young prospects who are knocking on the door to national team selection.”

The winner of the men’s and women’s three-metre springboard and 10m platform events at the championships will earn an Olympic quota place for their country.

Tokyo Olympian Sam Fricker will be joined in the men’s 10m platform by 17-year-old South Australian Jaxon Bowshire.

“My preparation has been pretty good,” Fricker said.

“I have been chipping away for a good few months so I am feeling as prepared as I can be, I’m feeling really excited heading into comp.”

Australia’s 10m platform world champion Cassiel Rousseau will miss the Oceania titles – with his gold-medal success in Japan last July already earning Australia an Olympic quota spot for Paris 2024.

Rising 18-year-old Milly Puckeridge will contest the women’s 10m platform alongside Tokyo Olympian Nikita Hains.

Australian diver Brittany O'Brien at the Rio 2016 Olympics.
Rio 2016 Olympian Brittany O’Brien is targeting a Games quota place in the 3m springboard. (Sam Mooy/AAP PHOTOS)

An experienced Australian duo – Rio 2016 Olympian Brittany O’Brien and 2018 Commonwealth Games gold medallist Georgia Sheehan – will compete in the women’s 3m springboard.

And evergreen pair Shixin Li and and Kurtis Mathews will contest the men’s 3m springboard.

Mathews will compete for Australia for the first time since the 2018 Commonwealth Games, having spent the past four years in the US college system.

After the Oceania championships, the nation’s elite will compete at the Australian diving grand prix in Brisbane, a four-day meet doubling as selection trials for the world titles in Doha in February.

AAP