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Team official: Canadian diving team eyes gold in Water Cube
13:36, July 31, 2008

The Canadian divers would be quite competitive in the coming Beijing Olympic Games, said their team manager at the Water Cube here on Thursday.

"Besides (Alexandre) Despatie in men's 3m springboard, we are quite hopeful in the women's 3m springboard and the women's 10m platform individual and synchro," Said Nancy Brawley, manager of the Canadian diving team.

"We know that it will be a very tough event and they must perform their best," said Brawley.

It's the second day for the Canadian divers training in the Water Cube. They started at 10 and left at 11:50.

Despatie, 23, the Canadian "golden boy," stepped on the 3m springboard at 10:40 and focused on crouched jumps and jackknife dives.

The 23-year-old experienced a hard time this year, as he injured his toe in April and was forced to rest for several weeks, which affected his preparation for the Olympics.

Although the world champion did not feature in Canada's Olympic diving trial in June due to injuries, he has qualified directly for the Beijing Games since the 23-year-old is the greatest diver in Canada.

Back from his pain, Despatie is set to pose serious challenge to Chinese favorites He Chong and Qin Kai in the 3 meters springboard event.

"My injury has recovered," said the diving wunderkind, silver medallist in the men's 3m springboard in 2004 Athens Olympics.

Despatie was considered the biggest rival for the powerful Chinese diving team. "It's nice for him to have a gold," said Brawley, "It depends on his performance."

"It's hard to say whether he had enough time to be in good shape after the injury. We will wait till the competition to see it," added Brawley.

Brawley said the Canadian team will go to Xi'an on Aug. 2 to have some training: "The Water Cube is good, but the atmosphere here may be a little tense. So we need to move to somewhere else for a few days to get excited and then we'll be back here to continue our preparation."

The Canadian divers like the Water Cube very much. "It is very very nice," said Brawley. "Especially the color. It is a big improvement since February. When we came here in February for the World Cup, it is all white. We like here very much."


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