Carter, Keeney in synch for a gold medal
A late call up for SASI athlete Matthew Carter to partner Maddison Keeney in the mixed 3m synchro at the FINA world diving championships in South Korea saw the pair win a stunning gold medal
BE READY and be prepared could well be the motto that star athlete Matthew Carter adapts in coming diving events around the world.
Last week Carter, 18, found himself teaming with Maddison Keeney in the mixed 3m springboard synchro at the world diving titles in Gwangju, South Korea, after Keeney's regular partner Domonic Bedggood was forced to withdraw from the event with an arm injury.
With little time to devise a plan or tactics the pair rode the rollercoaster ride after dropping to eighth after their second dive and then hitting the front with two dives to complete. A nailbiting finale saw the Aussie duo finish with 304.86 points to win gold, just .78 of a point ahead of a Canadian team.
The victory was the only success for a non-Chinese team which saw Australia finish second overall on the table, behind China's dominant 12 gold medals from 13 events.
Keeney and Carter were thrilled with their effort.
"We just competed together for the first time and didn't have much time to train together and had no special expectations,'' they said.
"We were happy to win a gold medal for Australia diving.''
National Coach Rick Schavone, who oversees SASI's top-end diving group, said Carter's effort to step in and perform was excellent.
"Obviously it was great winning a gold medal,'' Schavone said. "Matt is extremely adaptable athletically so it was amazing how quickly he adapted to Maddi's hurdle and press.
"Matt also had an amazing individual. His ninth place prelims was about a year ahead of schedule.
"He dived really well and established that he now belongs with the top divers in the world.
"I can't tell you how pleased and proud I am of my entire team. We had an excellent championship season.''
The world titles also were a stepping stone for athletes aiming to make the national team for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.
Follow SASI online