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Nervous wait after Mitcham misses cut

Reigning Olympic diving champion Matt Mitcham could have to rely on selectors' discretion to allow him to defend his title in London after bombing out at the US Diving Grand Prix in Florida.

Mitcham, who claimed a memorable victory in the 10m platform at the Beijing Games four years ago, failed to make the final of the event in Fort Lauderdale on Thursday, finishing fourth in a six-man semi-final with a score of 440.95.

After battling an abdominal muscle injury for most of 2011, Mitcham impressed at last month's nomination trials in Adelaide but Australia's Olympic diving criteria also demands a certain standard at the US and Canadian grand prix meets.

Having missed last week's event in Montreal, Mitcham's performance in Florida means he could fall short of the requirements.

It means selectors would have to take Mitcham's injury worries into account at the selection table but it appears likely they would, given he is Olympic champion, the sport's highest profile athlete and has produced consistently strong results when fit.

Diving Australia officials could not be contacted in the US on Friday but it's expected they will clarify Mitcham's situation over the next 24 hours.

Despite Mitcham's below-par performance it's believed he did not suffer a recurrence of his abdominal injury or experience pain during the competition.

However there are questions over whether Mitcham was ready to compete at the highest level in international competition as he continues to rebuild from his injury.

Mitcham was forced to miss last year's world titles in Shanghai because of his injury problems.

Zhou Luxin of China, who won silver behind Mitcham in Beijing, led the way into the final in the US with a score of 514.65.

Australia's Sharleen Stratton (339.95) reached the women's 3m springboard final.


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