Monique Gladding has been throught the pain barrier, but the agony may not be over

SHE has been through the pain barrier and almost lost her life competing in the sport she loves but, for Monique Gladding, the agony could be set to continue if she is ousted from the Team GB Olympic squad.

The 30-year-old who was picked for her first Olympics on Monday, has made a remarkable comeback having fractured her skull and almost died at a tournament in Russia 16 months ago.

However, her Olympic dream could be in jeopardy if team-mate Tonia Couch wins her appeal, against her non-selection, with British Diving.

Both divers are in Spain at a two-week training camp and British Diving are set to fast-track the appeal with a decision set to be made before the weekend.

Gladding has been chosen ahead of Couch, who will compete in the platform synchro in London, for the individual event, despite Couch defeating the veteran at the weekend’s British Gas Diving Championships in Sheffield, which were effectively an Olympic trial.


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Couch finished second at Ponds Forge behind Stacie Powell - who therefore cemented one of the two places on offer - while Gladding was third and all three recorded personal best scores.

Couch, who reached the 2008 Olympic platform final, was left in tears after being informed of the decision on Sunday night and later tweeted: “Picked 4 syncro but not for individual. I dived my socks off with a PB and came 2nd, had the best year yet not been picked for 2012 gutted.”

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If Gladding is left out, that will likely spell the end of her career, which looked destined to end when she almost lost her life.

Gladding was dragged to safety from the bottom of the diving pool after hitting her head on the 10m concrete platform and plummeting unconscious into the water.

Gladding has been left with a huge scar across her forehead but her results since her comeback, including top-10 finishes at the World Cup and European Championships this year marked a stunning comeback.

“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. To be in London, after the year I’ve had - I’ve had to dig deeper than ever.”

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