Wu hoo! Melissa lands her first gold
MELISSA Wu has nursed her broken body to a maiden international gold medal after beating the world champion to snare a surprise win in the 10m platform event.
One of the most consistent divers on the world scene, Wu had medals at world championships, Olympics and Commonwealth Games but no individual gold from a major competition until last night.
Four years ago in Glasgow, Wu landed her front three-and-a-half somersault in the pike position on her feet, registering a "no dive" and finishing 11th in the final.
But the 25-year-old gained immediate redemption, sticking the dive in the opening round to take the lead in the competition for a massive confidence boost.
She still led after three rounds but Canadian Meaghan Benfeito nailed an armstand twisting somersault to take the lead and looked likely to defend the title she won at the 2014 Commonwealth Games.
Benfeito still held the lead after her final dive, leaving Wu needing a score of 76.16 to win.
She delivered, the judges scoring her twisting back two-and-a-half somersault 76.80 to give her the win by the barest of margins.
Wu had to rely on discretionary selection for the Games after missing trials with a neck injury.
And she headed to the Gold Coast on a limited training program after managing neck, back and knee problems heading into the event.
"To get to a second home Games and a fourth Games, (overall), is really exciting and I'm so happy to be here and to have this opportunity," said Wu, who made her debut in Melbourne in 2006, aged 13.
"I've got disc protrusions in my neck and a disc bulge in my back, I've got all sorts of things.
"I know I'm carrying a lot of injuries and I've had to be pretty careful with how I train.
"I'm pretty limited at the moment in dry land training, so that's been tough for me to get ready for competition but I just do the best I can and I know I've got a lot of experience that I can rely on too.
"So I just think positively and use everything that I've built up over my career to go in there and perform my best."
She did that last night and registered a hugely popular win.
"This really is Melissa's time to shine," Olympic gold medallist Matthew Mitcham said in commentary.
"She's been so close a couple of times and there were some question marks leading into this competition with her knees."
Earlier, James Connor sealed his second medal of the diving program after finishing third in the 3m springboard final following a seesawing battle for the minor medals.
Connor nailed his final dive, a reverse thee-and-a-half somersault to ensure his place on the podium.
"There's no feeling like that. You kind of have a feeling when you come through the water and you know it's good or if it's clean and you open your eyes and see if there's water all around you," he said.
"It was an incredible experience in front of the home crowd again and I was lucky enough to come away with a medal in a high quality field."