He Chong wins springboard gold in world class final

26th April 2014

World champion He Chong held off a world class field to land 3m Springboard gold on the second day of the FINA/NVC Diving World Series at London Aquatics Centre.

The Chinese diver continued his 100 per cent record in this year’s World Series to claim gold on 559.00 ahead of Russian pair Illya Zakharov (536.15) and Evgeny Kuznetsov (523.20) while GB’s Jack Laugher was fourth on 517.60.

All four divers scored more than 100 for one of their dives as the London crowd were treated to one of the most exciting finals of the weekend.

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He Chong took control in the third round of dives and never let his lead slip, scoring 102.60 for his penultimate forward 4.5 somersaults with tuck and 93.60 for his final dive – a front 2.5 somersaults, 3 twists piked.

The battle for silver and bronze behind He was enthralling as 19-year old Laugher took on Olympic champion Zakharov and world silver medallist Kuznetsov.

Diving first of the chasing trio, Laugher put himself in contention with two sublime dives to finish his list, scoring 100.70 for his forward 4.5 somersaults with tuck then another 93.60 for his back 3.5 somersaults with tuck.

But with the gauntlet laid down, the Russian duo both rose to the challenge, each scoring 106.40 for their final forward 4.5 somersaults with tuck to claim the last two spots on the podium.

"That was absolutely brilliant," said Laugher, who is coached by Ady Hinchliffe at City of Leeds. "I've never gone over 500 - nobody from Britain has ever gone over 500 on 3m so to have that achievement is absolutely incredible.

"What my coach and I always say is with a World Series, as the turnaround is so quick, it's just dive by dive and trying to put in a 100 per cent. It's a very short competition with only semi finals and a six-man final, so you can absolutely put everything into every single performance.

"I had some absolutely incredible dives today - I went over 100 for the first time ever which is another PB for myself and had a massive score onmy  reverse three and a half as well so it's been a brilliant experience."

Men's 3m Springboard Results

GOLD - He Chong (China) (559.00)

SILVER - Illya Zakharov (Russia) (536.15)

BRONZE - Evgeny Kuznetsov (Russia) (523.20)

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