Gladding in as Daley leads Team GB

  • Last Updated: July 5 2012, 14:16 BST

Monique Gladding will compete at her first Olympics just 18 months after she almost died.

Gladding: Cracked her head on the concrete in 2011

British Diving have included the 30-year-old in a 12-member squad that is headlined by Games poster boy Tom Daley.

While Daley's inclusion was a formality, after he won both the individual and synchro platform titles at the British Gas Diving Championships at the weekend, Gladding had to rely on the discretion of British Diving's selection panel.

Gladding finished third in the women's platform in Sheffield but despite that it was decided to include her alongside winner Stacie Powell in London.

That has set the stage for an emotional Olympic debut for Gladding following a remarkable comeback from her near-death experience in Russia in February last year.

The City of Sheffield diver had to be dragged to safety from the bottom of the diving pool after she hit her head on the concrete 10m platform and plummeted unconscious into the water.

She was left with a large scar across the top of her scalp and thought her Olympic dreams was in tatters.

Remarkably Gladding was back on diving's highest board less than six months before top-10 finishes at the World Cup and European Championships this year.

Those results seemingly proved enough for the selectors to overlook the weekend result, after which Gladding had admitted she had almost given up on reaching an Olympics.

''There was a definite moment when I started doubting it,'' she said.

''I had to really draw on something much deeper than I ever have before to get myself back and get the confidence back.

''It's my third attempt at an Olympics, last time I missed out slightly and the time before.

''To be in London, after the year of had - I've had to dig deeper than ever.

''It's been such a good year. I have given everything I've got.''

Britain will take a full diving team to an Olympics for the first time this summer with former platform world champion Daley the number one contender for a medal.

The 18-year-old will take career-best form to London, after claiming a personal best 565.05 when reclaiming the European Championship last month, and is set to offer the greatest challenge to the all-conquering Chinese with a home crowd in support.

''It's going to be tough to get near them, they're the best in the world, but I guess they will have to look out for me,'' he said.

''The home advantage will be important too.''

Daley will compete in the individual and synchro platform alongside Pete Waterfield, who makes his fourth Olympics.

Waterfield, a synchro silver medallist in Athens, had struggled with niggling injuries of late and needed an injection in his left shoulder immediately after Sunday night's competition.

Despite that the 31-year-old denied any concern he might not be ready to partner Daley this summer.

''After these injections I should be right to go again. I can get a good block of training in and get the consistency back,'' he said.

''I'm old now - it's what is needed to be done but once these niggles go I'll be right.''

Tonia Couch, who was overlooked for Gladding, will instead focus on her partnership with Sarah Barrow in the 10m synchro.

The newly-crowned European champions are expected to push for a podium place after just being edged into fourth at last year's World Championships.

Elsewhere, Rebecca Gallantree and Nick Robinson-Baker were picked for their second Olympics while rising star Jack Laugher heads a list of four teenagers heading to their first Games along with Chris Mears, Hannah Starling and Alicia Blagg.

The Olympic diving events begin on July 29 before finishing with Daley's platform final on August 11.

Full GB team: Tom Daley (10m, individual & synchro), Pete Waterfield (10m, individual & platform), Jack Laugher (3m), Chris Mears (3m individual, synchro), Nick Robinson-Baker (3m synchro), Stacie Powell (10m), Monique Gladding (10m), Tonia Couch (10m synchro), Sarah Barrow (10m synchro), Rebecca Gallantree (3m, individual & synchro), Hannah Starling (3m), Alicia Blagg (3m synchro).