Teenage diver Maddison Keeney has launched a campaign aimed at three Commonwealth Games gold medals with a sensational performance at the trials in Melbourne.
The 17-year-old from Perth won the one-metre springboard event on Monday with an elite score of 339.90, blowing away her competition.
The same score would have won Keeney a gold medal at the last three world championships and the last two Commonwealth Games.
She’ll attempt to fill her Glasgow Games schedule by qualifying for the three-metre individual and snychronised events this week.
Despite growing hype around her, Keeney is determined not to get ahead of herself.
“It’s a bit daunting that people have such high expectations but first I need to qualify and get there,” she said.
“Hopefully I will be doing that over the next few days.”
She’s made a fan in Matthew Mitcham.
“I’m constantly in awe of her,” said Mitcham, the 2008 Olympic 10-metre platform champion.
“Because she is so strong she gets a lot more height off the board and can spin much faster than others… she makes dives look so easy.”
Mitcham will attempt to qualify for three events himself, 10-metre solo and synchro and the three-metre synchro.
Free of major injuries for the first time since the Delhi Commonwealth Games, where he won four silver medals, he said going one better in Glasgow was a major driving force.
“I’ve got a World Cup and Olympic gold, I’d love to complete the trifecta,” he said.
“I’m diving the best I’ve dived since I was number one in the world in 2010.”
Back then, Keeney was a grade nine student but after finishing school in the summer she moved to Brisbane to be part of Australia’s high performance program.
She attributes that move with improving her competition dives, to the point where she won gold at a prestigious grand prix meet in Madrid earlier this year.
“It’s taken me quite a while to get the hang of the dives I’m trying to do. When I first started they obviously didn’t go as well as they do now,” she said.
“But I felt great today, that’s the best I’ve ever dived.”
The Commonwealth Games trials continue at the Melbourne Aquatic Centre until Thursday.