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Gladding and Powell agonisingly short in 10m

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8th August 2012

British divers Monique Gladding and Stacie Powell narrowly missed out on the 10m Platform semi-final at London 2012.

The Brits both performed below their best on the night as they finished 19th and 20th overall with only the top 18 of the 26-strong field progressing.

I came in today without any expectations and just wanting to get through without my neck playing up. I've got to be proud.

Gladding has enjoyed an encouraging season, finishing 10th at the World Cup in February then fifth at the European Championships in May before booking her spot at her first Olympic Games.

She was sitting in a qualification spot after three solid dives, a missed dive for her fourth effort – a back 2 ½ somersaults in pike – saw her slip out of contention.

And while she finished strongly with 7.5s to score 67.50 for her last effort – a forward 3 ½ somersaults in pike – her final tally of 301.45 was 6.65 points shy of Korea’s Kim Un Hyang in 18th.

Gladding admitted missing the semis by a single place was tough to stomach but insisted she was proud to have competed at all after a recurring neck injury had threatened to call short her debut Games.

"To finish 19th is horrible but I've had such a tough time this week and it was touch and go as to whether I was going to dive," said Gladding.

"It meant I came in today without any expectations and just wanting to get through without my neck playing up.

"So I've got to be proud. A week ago there was a 90% chance that I wouldn't dive and doctors told me there was quite a high risk I would hurt myself.

"Unfortunately it finished the way it did but I did go out there and gave it my absolute all. It's a hard pill to swallow but I've got to hold my head up high and be proud of what I've done."

Having struggled with injuries since finishing 10th in the same event at the Beijing Games four years ago, Powell was also hitting top form, setting a British record 376.05 to qualify at the British Gas Diving Championships in June.

In diving, split seconds make the difference which is why it is such a brutal sport.

But Powell was playing catch up after a missed second dive in London and another sub-50 score for her fourth dive saw qualification slip out of sight.

The 26-year old did claw back some points with her final effort, scoring 70.40 for her back 2 ½ somersaults, 1 ½ twists in pike, but her 287.30 wasn’t enough to progress.

"In diving, split seconds make the difference which is why it is such a brutal sport," said Powell.

"I tried to come back from that second dive and I was really pleased with my next dive and the ones after that but that's diving - it's really tough.

"I was really pleased with how I got on with the rest of the competition and unfortunately I can't undo that early kick on that dive. I wish I could."

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