Powell and Couch fire parting shot at Olympic judges
STACIE POWELL felt hard done by in her first Olympic final after finishing eighth with Tonia Couch in the Synchronised 10m platform diving.
The Southampton-based 22-year-old took a swipe at the judges, who she felt did not give the GB duo the credit they were due, robbing them of a higher placing at the Water Cube in Beijing.
Having climbed to fifth with one dive to go, Powell and Couch dropped three places in the last round out of five and were left wondering what might have been.
But their creditable performance has given Powell confidence going into next week's individual competition.
"We were a bit frustrated with our marks," Powell said. "We felt that the synchro aspect of our dives deserved higher marks than what they awarded us.
"When you're diving by yourself there isn't the synchro aspect, so that won't be an issue. There are more controllable factors and what you're doing can be judged by itself.
"We dived really well and were a little bit disappointed that the judges didn't reward us as we should have been rewarded. We did five good dives and we were happy with our performance."
A raucous crowd inside the arena roared Chinese pair Wang Xin and Chen Ruolin on to the gold medal and inspired the Brits, too.
Powell and 19-year-old Couch have got the Olympic bug and are already licking their lips for the individual event beginning next Wednesday.
"It was good to have this experience of the atmosphere and the venue before the individual next week," Powell said. "It helped us being first to dive because we were able to stand there and look at the crowd, relax and get used to the atmosphere.
"Next time we'll be on our own and I won't have Tonia standing next to me smiling at me. It'll be lonelier but hopefully the experience will turn out to be just as good as this one has been.
"When Tonia and I were waiting for our go in between rounds, we were saying how much we wanted to get back out there and do it again. We were just enjoying it so much stood on the end of the board with that great atmosphere."
There is also the small matter of a home Games in four years and Powell is expecting big things.
"We'll go home after this, keep working hard, put the experience to good use and start building towards 2012," she said. "We hope to still be diving together then.
"Hopefully we'll have a fighting medal chance in London."