Despatie hopeful for Games

Despatie hopeful for Games
By Reuters

14/06/2012 at 04:17Updated 14/06/2012 at 04:34

Canada's Alexandre Despatie is expected to compete in the London Games after a diving mishap in Spain that left the twice Olympic silver medallist in hospital overnight with a large cut to his head, Diving Canada said on Wednesday.

The 27-year-old from Laval, Quebec, suffered a 10 cms gash in practice when he struck a springboard while performing the third somersault of an inward 3-1/2 dive where Despatie starts backwards and spins back toward the board.

Despatie, who needs the scar to heal in time to take part in the July 27-Aug. 12 London Olympics, underwent a short operation on Wednesday with a plastic surgeon to close a cut that forced him to lose consciousness briefly.

"We think that the chances are really remote that his Olympics is in jeopardy at all," Mitch Geller, technical chief officer of Diving Canada, said on a conference call.

"We're expecting sort of two weeks out of the water and if it's longer so be it. He'll be doing everything that he needs to in dryland training and he'll be ready to get in the water. We would expect inside of three weeks for sure."

Geller said the three times world champion failed to react when he lost his balance at the start of the dive and instead continued with the trick.

Despatie underwent several tests and Geller said there did not seem to be any lasting effects regarding concussion.

"He's faced adversity many times in the past and his response is truly something that really distinguishes him from the pack," said Geller.

"Knowing him and the type of athlete he is, I would say that my confidence is very high that he will be able to put this behind him and just focus in on the event and do what needs to be done."