Laura Wilkinson and her diving partner Jessica Livingston have asked an arbitrator to overturn a decision not to have them compete in synchronized platform at the Beijing Olympics, according to the Houston Chronicle.
Wilkinson, the 2000 Olympic platform champion, and Livingston filed an appeal of the decision by the USA Diving selection committee with the American Arbitration Assn., the newspaper said on its web site tonight. It also said a hearing is set for Friday here in Los Angeles.
Wilkinson, 30, earned a spot in the individual 10-meter platform competition at next month’s Olympics by winning the U.S. trials in June.
She and Livingston, the newspaper said, are asking in their 10-page complaint to be placed on the team or that USA Diving hold another competition to see if they or the team of 15-year-olds Haley Ishimatsu (from Seal Beach) and Mary Beth Dunnichay should compete in Beijing.
The Associated Press was unable to immediately reach Wilkinson. But Debbie Hesse, USA Diving chief executive, issued a statement, saying, "USA Diving stands behind our selection procedures, the selection process and the selectors’ decision.
Ishimatsu and Dunnichay were named to the team after they split four competitions with Wilkinson and Livingston at a selection camp earlier this month. USA Diving had changed its selection process for Beijing, choosing the synchro teams at the camp instead of at the trials.
-- Debbie Goffa
Photo: Laura Wilkinson, left, and partner Jessica Livingston during the 10-meter syncronized diving finals at the U.S. Diving Grand Prix in May. Credit: Andrew Innerarity / South Florida Sun Sentinel