Rio Olympian Brittany O’Brien (Western Sydney University) will lead a young team of divers ready to make an impact at the Summer Universiade in Taipei later this month.
With an average age of 20, the team of five is represents the rising stars of Australian diving.
O’Brien will compete in the 10m platform alongside Laura Hingston (RMIT University), Nicholas Jeffree (University of Technology Sydney), Emily Meaney (Purdue University) and Ruby Neave (Monash University).
In August last year, O’Brien got her first taste of major international competition when she received a late call up for the Australian Olympic team bound for Rio.
One of the youngest competitors in Rio, O’Brien advanced through the preliminary round to place 15th at her debut Games.
An injury to London 2012 silver medallist Brittany Broben opened the door for O’Brien, an opportunity she grabbed with both hands, as she willingly put her Year 12 exams on hold.
“It was a bit of an interruption,” O’Brien said.
“But I ended up getting a decent ATAR score and got into the university course I wanted so it all worked out okay.”
O’Brien now studies design as she juggles her classes at Western Sydney University with a busy training schedule that is beginning to pay dividends.
“My training is a lot more consistent now. Since Rio I’ve felt like I’ve been performing more better overall in competitions.”
“I also feel a little more confident with the experience of Rio behind me.”
Heading into the Games, O’Brien will be aiming to be Australia’s seventh diving medallist in our 50-year involvement in the Games, following in the footsteps of Samantha Mills (gold, 1m springboard, 2013), Samantha Mills/Esther Qin (silver, 3m syncho, 2013), Amey Moors-Chantry/Briony Cole (bronze, 3m syncho, 2005), Dean Pullar (bronze, 1m springboard, 1999)(bronze, 3m springboard, 1997) and Simon McCormack (bronze, 1m springboard, 1991).
“I don’t want to have my expectations too high but a podium finish would be my goal.”
“Hopefully if I get a good score and I have a good time, that’ll be most important.”
2017 Australian Uniroos diving team
|Nicholas Jeffree||University of Technology Sydney||1m Springboard, Platform|
|Emily Meaney||Purdue University||Platform|
|Ruby Neave||Monash University||1m Springboard, 3m Springboard|
|Brittany O’Brien||Western Sydney University||Platform|