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Swimming - 06. December 2007.


The strong squad go into the meet with British synchro team selection up for grabs as National Performance Director Steve Foley will make his selection for the pairs to represent Great Britain at the Olympic qualifier in Beijing in February.

"As this competition makes up the second half of the synchro trials we are looking to see which partnerships are the most successful for us," said Foley.

"It is great for us to have them in contention again as they have a vast amount of experience that will help us as we try to qualify for a place in Beijing next year."

Foley is looking forward to seeing the Athens Olympic silver medallists back on the international circuit as they look to continue their preparation for next summer's Games.

Britain's divers have suffered with a catalogue of injuries this year but Foley is excited that the worst seems to be over and realises the importance of using the Montreal event to get his athletes ready for an Olympic year.

"This is a big meet for all of our athletes," said Foley. "We would usually use it as a hit out for our junior athletes but this year has been like nothing I've known before injury-wise so we are using it for our potential World Cup team to give them competition experience in the months before the vital event.

"It will be tough for the squad as it is Canada's World Cup trial and they will be putting out their first team. I will be looking for our athletes to step up to the challenge of competing against world and Olympic medallists such as Alex Despatie."

Foley has been encouraged by strong performances at recent international events and believes his divers have what it takes to make an impact on the world stage.

"The young guys in our squad are growing in confidence and we saw some of them emerging in the Britain versus Germany meet where the likes Tonia Couch really stepped up to show how well she could compete against some world class divers," explained Foley.

"This event will show us how well they can compete on foreign soil. They won't have the support of a home crowd and will be facing foreign judges. This fact is vitally important in getting themselves known to judges around the world in the run up to the Olympics."
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