Nathan Meade, one of Australia's premier divers, was killed when he apparently misjudged a dive during practice and smashed into the concrete diving platform Thursday at Brisbane, Australia.
Meade, 21, was pronounced dead at Princess Alexandra Hospital. Doctors said he suffered massive brain damage.
The Australian high-dive champion was a top contender for a spot on his nation's 1988 Olympic team. Meade was performing a dive he had practiced nearly 300 times, said Steve Foley, a former Olympian and an Australian Institute of Sport coach. Foley dived into the pool fully clothed in a futile bid to save his protege.
Foley said the dive--a reverse 2 1/2--requires the diver to stand on the edge of the 10-meter concrete tower, then launch himself forward and upward, spinning backward to generate enough speed to get through the somersaults in time to make a clean entry into the water.
"For some reason, Nathan's technique was very bad for this dive," the coach said. "Instead of jumping forward, he jumped back a fraction and he hit his head on the way down. I don't know what caused it--maybe it was a momentary lapse in concentration."