GB divers secure Olympic places in women’s 10m platform
By Nick HopeBBC Sport at London Aquatics Centre
GB diver Monique Gladding helped Great Britain secure an Olympic berth in the women's 10m platform event in her first major international since a horror injury
left her battling for her life
The 30-year-old cracked her skull after hitting her head on the platform while competing in Russia in February 2011.
But she qualified for Tuesday's semi-finals on the opening day of action at London's Aquatics Centre.
"It's been quite a journey since last year," Gladding told BBC Sport.
"There have been struggles, but it's such an honour to be diving at this pool and to get the Olympic spot is just fantastic.
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"Monique is a dear friend of mine and to watch someone you care about nearly die is not a nice thing for anyone and it shows the danger of the sport, but what's really inspirational is that she can come back after such a massive trauma and try to achieve her unfinished business. She hasn't been to an Olympics, but she's one step closer after today."
"Having an accident like I did certainly changes your perspective on life, so this year has just been about really getting back to enjoying diving again, because afterwards it was a real struggle."
Team-mate Stacie Powell, who also qualified for the next round, was full of praise for Gladding and addressed her directly in the post-competition interview.
"I think you've come back stronger because you weren't putting in these performances in World Cup preliminaries before, so now you've definitely come back fighting stronger and ready for this year," said Powell.
In the day's other event, Beijing Olympian Nick Robinson-Baker joined partner Chris Mears in the 3m springboard competition.
They admitted to a few nerves when facing the home crowd for the first time in the morning's preliminaries, but overcame their anxieties to qualify in 10th position, before finishing eighth in the final.
GB divers compete in Aquatics Centre
"After five rounds we were within 10 points of the bronze medal position so to finish on our big dive put a lot of pressure on us, but it's one of those things that can happen in competitions and we're not too far away from the medals," Robinson-Baker told BBC Sport.
Speaking about the home crowd, Mears added: "It was even louder than in the morning and it was absolutely fantastic.
"I loved every minute of being out there and although we could have done slightly better I'm really happy with the performance. If we work on a few things, in five months' time we'll be even stronger at the Olympics."
The men's 3m synchronised springboard final was won by world champions Kin Qin and Yutong Luo of China, with athletes from Russia taking silver and the Malaysian pair collecting the bronze medal.
On Tuesday Gladding and Powell compete in the 10m platform individual semi-finals in the morning session, while Mears and Jack Laugher are competing in the men's 3m individual springboard competition.
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