Diver retires after warning from doctors about quadriplegia

GOLD COAST, Australia — An Australian 10-meter platform diver has retired on the eve of the Commonwealth Games after doctors warned her she risked being paralyzed if she continued in the sport.

Taneka Kovchenko has experienced headaches and neck pain since late last year, and underwent testing which revealed a compressed spinal cord at the base of her skull.

"The neurologist and doctors were very clear that if a dive was to go wrong, that the result would be being a ventilated quadriplegic," Kovchenko, 23, posted on Instagram.

"This was a super-scary moment. I thought of every scenario to try and continue diving till at least the end of this season. However the risks highly outweighed the options of continuing to dive and sadly had to make the heartbreaking decision to stop diving."

Kovchenko was considered a Commonwealth Games medal chance with Olympic silver medalist Melissa Wu in the platform synchro as well as in the individual 10-meter event.

The Commonwealth Games open on Wednesday, with diving competition getting underway on April 11.

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