World titles provide strong platform for SASI duo

World titles provide strong platform for SASI duo

SASI divers Taneka Kovchenko and Matthew Carter gained plenty from representing Australia at the world diving championships in Budapest between July 14 and 22.

THERE were no medals for South Australian divers Taneka Kovchenko and Matthew Carter at the FINA World Championships in Budapest but the learning process for both will be invaluable, says national coach Michel Larouche.

"It was the first world championship for both and I was happy with what they did,'' he said.

''For Taneka she did very well in synchro and to get top five meant she was invited to next year's world series.

''This means that she will be competing more internationally and getting that experience and judges will get to know her better.

''For Matthew I think he learned a lot and realised the men's side is very strong.

''He needs to get stronger and keep practising but he is till very young. He will learn a lot by wathching other divers. We are always learning, even as coaches.''

Taneka teamed with Melissa Wu in the women's 10m synchro to finish fifth, while Matthew and Kevin Chavez paired in the men's 3m synchro where they made the final, finishing 12th. Matthew and Melissa Wu competed in the mixed 3m and 10m team event, also finishing 12th. Matthew's final event was the mixed 3m synchro where he paired with Esther Qin and they finished fifth.

Taneka was thrilled with her result and the atmosphere in Budapest.

"The world championships was very surreal,'' she said.

''I think the whole experience is only just becoming real to me. I was very pleased with my results coming fifth in women's 10m synchro with Melissa Wu at our first bench mark event together.

''This qualifies us for the world series in 2018 which is pretty cool. Individually placing 18th in my semi final was also an achievement with a total of 37 athletes in our event.

''Although I'm happy with my results I know that I am capable of more and that really drives my motivation for my next competition which will be Commonwealth Games trials in December.''

Some divers may also target the next Grand Prix event on the Gold Coast in November.

The Australian team at the Budapest world titles consisted of Olympic medalists Melissa Wu, Anabelle Smith and Maddison Keeney (gold medallist at the 2017 world titles), Commonwealth Games gold medalists Domonic Bedggood and Esther Qin and Olympians Chavez and James Connor who rounded out the Rio contingent.

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10m synchro team

Photo credit: Diving Australia