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Next gen to launch in Games diving trials

Divers Melissa Wu and Domonic Bedggood will not defend their individual gold medals at the Birmingham Commonwealth Games, opening the door for Australia’s next generation to lay down their marker at the trials.

Wu and Bedggood won gold in the women’s and men’s 10m individual platform on the Gold Coast in 2018.

But 30-year-old Wu will only compete in 10m synchronised platform, teaming with 14-year-old Charli Petrov, at this week’s selection trials.

Bedggood, who won the 10m synchronised platform with Matthew Mitcham in 2010, will compete in the same event with young gun Cassiel Rousseau, having only returned from a mental health break four months ago.

“I haven’t been back for too long, so the main focus this year will be on the synchro partnership and who knows what I’ll do next year,” Bedggood told AAP.

“If I make it, this will be my third Comm Games. I’ve won gold in synchro, won gold in individual so it’d be nice to start our partnership off with a bang in Birmingham with Cassiel.

“Then it’ll be exciting to watch him do the individual.”

All the buzz at Tuesday’s trials launch was around 21-year-old Rousseau, who is tipped to kick on from his eighth-placed finish on Olympic debut in Tokyo.

“I said to him he has to bring the gold medal back home to Australia,” Bedggood, 27, said.

“I put that pressure on him. I keep saying to him ‘it’s coming home, Cass, it’s coming home.’ So he’ll go and defend it for Australia.”

Sam Fricker, 20, is competing in four events and also looking to kick on after his Tokyo Olympics debut.

“Hopefully if I do make the Commonwealth Games, it’ll be even better for me having that (Olympic) experience going into them,” he told AAP.

“If you make an event, then you want to try and win the event. You’re not turning up to make up numbers.”

Wu’s absence from the individual 10m platform opens the door for another 21-year-old, Nikita Hains, to make her mark.

Hains was a bolter for the Tokyo Olympics and will attempt to seal her spot for Birmingham in the individual 10m platform and 10m synchronised.

“It’s a big open field but there’s such strong competitors. We’re really lucky in Australia at the moment. We have a lot of competitive females,” Hains said.

“Last year gave me a bit of a taste, it put my name in lights and I really want to keep that going.”

The trials, which double as qualification for the 2022 FINA world championships, run from June 1 to June 4.

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