Thursday, 14 June 2012
Diver Matt Mitcham has opted out of competition and will focus on "smashing" himself in training in a bid to be ready for his Olympic 10m platform title defence in London.
While most of his Australian teammates are preparing to compete at this weekend's Spanish Grand Prix in Madrid, Mitcham has remained in Sydney to continue his preparations under coach Chava Sobrino.
The Beijing gold medallist is continuing to recover from a troublesome abdominal muscle problem that has wreaked havoc with his preparation and forced him to miss last year's world titles in Shanghai.
And while the 24-year-old is pain-free and building in confidence, he believes he'll be better served by maximising his training rather than competing again before the Games.
"Chava and I decided the way I'm going to get the best out of London is to stay home and just get a solid block of training behind me, rather than interrupting the training block to go to another competition," Mitcham told AAP.
"I believe I already know how to compete, so it's just a matter of getting the training behind me."
Although a below-par performance at last month's US Grand Prix sparked fears Mitcham might be losing a race against time to be fit for London, he said he was now able to fully test himself in training.
"I'm not being so cautious anymore," he said.
"I'm kind of smashing myself at the moment because I can.
"... I finish every training session absolutely knackered ... to the point where sometimes I just crash - as soon as I get in the front door, I just lie on my floor in front of the door for half an hour.
"We're being cautious not to increase my load too much too quickly ... but it's pretty much just going to be me busting my balls for the next month-and-a-half until the Games start.
"I've been putting my abs through some pretty full-on stuff, getting prepared to do my highest degree of difficulty dives and it's holding together really, really well."
Springboard diver Ethan Warren will also miss this weekend's meet in Spain but the other eight members of Australia's Olympic diving team will compete.