Diver Helm 'perfection' off 10m platform - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Diver Helm 'perfection' off 10m platform

25/03/2006 11:02:01 PM Comments (0)

Mathew Helm has a tattoo on his arm in Chinese symbols meaning "perfection".

He lived up to his mantra by winning a stunning gold medal in the 10m platform, with a swathe of perfect 10s enabling him to deny Canada's Alexandre Despatie a cleansweep of the individual events at the Commonwealth Games.

Helm's breathtaking display in the final event of the diving competition was the fifth gold for Australia, with a total of 14 medals securing the nation's best result at a major international meeting.

Helm, 25, was in sensational form in a tight contest with five divers managing numerous flawless scores throughout the event.

Helm himself received top marks for six of his 12 dives, finishing on a total of 1085.60 points, ahead of England's Peter Waterfield on 1030.50 and Despatie on 1016.95.

"I've really been on fire all day today," he said.

"I was really in the zone today. I wasn't feeling any of the pressure at all."

Helm has previously won silver off the platform at the Athens Olympics but had never won a Commonwealth medal until his gold in the synchronised event with Robert Newbery on Friday.

His success is a stark contrast to this time last year, when problems with his take-offs caused him so much anguish he took three months off from diving and considered retirement.

Despatie had to settle for the bronze medal after making an unusual mistake with his legs splashing hard into the water and scoring below four points from each judge to rule him out of the gold medal spot in the tight contest.

There had been less than three points separating the top three spots going into the final.

"I think I put the pressure on him," Helm said.

"Once you falter early on in the competition it's very hard to get back on top of your game."

Despatie last year became world champion in all three of the individual disciplines - 1m, 3m and 10m - and had been hoping to become the first diver in history to take out the trifecta at a Commonwealth Games.

In fourth spot was Newbery, who also scored a perfect 10 for one of his dives, but was content just to enjoy the competition, waving and smiling at the crowd from the platform.

Like his wife Chantelle, he is unsure about his future and does not yet know whether he will give up competitive diving to put more focus on his medical studies.

Newcomer Matthew Mitcham rounded out his solid Games debut with a fifth placing.

Earlier, Chantelle Newbery and Kathryn Blackshaw claimed the silver and bronze in the 3m springboard.

Canadian Blythe Hartley kept her nerve, taking out the gold medal with an excellent final dive in the springboard competition to finish with 690.05 points with Newbery (681.30) pushing her to the very end.

It was Newbery's third medal of the Commonwealth Games and the second bronze of the week for young gun Blackshaw (629.00).

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