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May 11, 2012

Mitcham likely for London despite form

Diving officials remain tight-lipped but are expected to select reigning Olympic champion Matt Mitcham to compete in London despite him failing to shine at the US Diving Grand Prix.

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, Florida, finishing fourth in Thursday's six-man semi-final with a score of 440.95.

The performance meant Mitcham could fall short of Australia's diving selection criteria which requires a certain performance standards at the US event and at last week's Canadian Diving Grand Prix, which Mitcham missed as he continues to rebuild from an abdominal muscle injury.

However it's likely selectors will take into account Mitcham's injury worries, his impressive performance at last month's nomination trials in Adelaide, and the fact he missed the semis in Florida by just 20 points, when they name their team for London on May 29.

Australian diving high performance manager Graeme Rose was giving nothing away though on Saturday, saying "the selection process hasn't really started yet".

But he played down concerns that Mitcham was still hampered by the injury or that he was rushed back into competition in Florida.

"He's fine, it was a pretty difficult event because there were thunderstorms during it," Rose told AAP.

"Everyone knows he's had injury issues over the last 12 months, it's just restricted what he's been able to do in training.

"... It's part of the requirement to compete at these events, he just wasn't ready for the first one (Canada), we're still rehabbing from his injuries but he's fine at the moment."

Mitcham impressed in winning the 10m platform at last month's trials in Adelaide and declared he was starting to "feel like the old me again" after an injury-ravaged year in which he was forced to miss the world titles in Shanghai.

But he will have to carefully manage his body in the lead-up to the Games, where he will hope to defend his title against the likes of Britain's Tom Daley and Chinese duo Zhou Luxin and Qiu Bo.

Australia will have two finalists in the women's 10m platform in Florida after Melissa Wu and teenager Brittany Broben both progressed on Friday.

Wu topped the first semi-final with a score of 365.80 while Broben was third in the same six-woman semi with 349.80.

Ethan Warren reached the men's 3m springboard final, finishing second in his semi-final with 395.75.

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