Injury may force Brooke Graddon to quit diving

Brooke Graddon
Brooke Graddon has been diving since she was seven years old

Plymouth diver Brooke Graddon may be forced to retire from the sport due to a painful shoulder injury.

She has had two cortisone injections and an operation and faces one final injection to try and fix the problem.

"If this injection doesn't work the pain won't go away which means I might have to call it a day," said Graddon.

The 24-year-old 10m platform diver won a European Championships bronze medal in 2009, as well as representing Great Britain at the World Championships.

But Graddon, second in this year's British 10m championships, was diagnosed in May with a torn tendon.

"At the minute, I can't train," she told BBC South West. "They have repaired the tendon and the impingement in my shoulder but I can't squeeze my arm above my head, which isn't ideal for diving from 10 metres."

The timing of the injury could not be worse for Graddon, who trains alongside Tom Daley and Tonia Couch in Plymouth, as she aims to make the British squad for next summer's Olympics in London.

"I'm absolutely gutted," she added. "Especially when I've been diving for 17 years and it's decided to pack in the year before 2012.

"It's heartbreaking, but I'm keeping my fingers crossed.

"They haven't actually injected into the proper place yet and, now they know it was my tendon, I'm praying this one will work.

"If I knew I wasn't going to do myself more damage and could put up with the pain, I would 100% dive because 2012 is anyone's dream and I've trained for so long I just wouldn't want to give up.

"But I know from previous experience that I haven't been able to. Mentally I've wanted to, but physically I couldn't."

If the latest injection proves a success, Graddon still feels she would be able to make up the lost time.

"Ideally I'd have been back on the 10-metre board a month ago, so I've missed two months of hard, crucial training," she said. "But I have the experience of 17 years diving. So, even if I have a month or two before the nationals to get back on the board, that could be just fine."

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