Wednesday, 30 July 2014 | MYT 10:18 PM
'Old man' Mitcham eyeing Commonwealth gold
Ahmad Amsyar Azman of Malaysia competes in the men’s 1m springboard event. - AFP
GLASGOW: At 26, Australia’s 2008 Olympic Games champion Matthew Mitcham is one of oldest in the Glasgow Commonwealth Games diving competition which started at Royal Commonwealth Pool on Wednesday.
But Mitcham, who is coming back into competition after going through all sorts of issues over the last four years, has a score to settle – end his third and last Commonwealth Games with a gold medal.
On Wednesday, he qualified for the final of the men’s 1m springboard as the second best qualifier with a score 383.65 points. England’s Jack Laugher and Chris Mears took the first and third spots with 435.30 and 383.40 points respectively.
“I did pretty consistent but certainly it was not my best. I’m glad there were no big mistakes. I hope to be as consistent but perform with more quality,” said Mitcham.
“I won a silver in this event at the last Games in New Delhi but things have been pretty rough for me since. There were lots of injuries and health issues.”
Mitcham even went through depression that led to self-harm and drug abuse.
He was also down with injuries – abdominal muscle injury and stress fractures on his back – which hampered his progress in the 2012 London Olympics.
“I was open about all these problems but I’m over them now,” said Mitcham.
He agreed that he is quite “old” for diving, but reiterated that his passion for the sport still burned as bright as it did when he first took up the sport when he was just 11.
“I know I’m one of the oldest guys here. In the 1m plaform, I’m totally the oldest. They are just getting younger and younger in this sport. I’m used to being called the old guy,” he said, bursting into laughter.
“I’m back here (at the Commonwealth Games) because I have four silvers from my last three Games and that’s not satisfying.