Russians targeting first springboard gold

26th April 2014

Russia’s Evgeny Kuznetsov became the first European diver to break 500 from the 3m Springboard at a World Series this season as he led qualifiers from the semi-finals in London.

The world silver medallist, who has yet to make the individual World Series podium this season, led his semi from the opening round and finished with 96.90 for his forward 4.5 somersaults with tuck for a final tally of 508.60.

Olympic champion Illya Zakharov enjoyed a happy return to the venue of his London 2012 triumph as he qualified second from the first semi on 489.50 to join his Russian teammate in the final.

Neither diver has won an individual World Series gold in their career and they will be aiming to beat China's He Chong in tonight's final after the world champion won the second semi on 485.40.

He has won both opening legs of this year's World Series, beating the 525 marker in the final on both occasions, and will be aiming for his 11th career individual World Series gold.

Great Britain's Jack Laugher impressed as he progressed behind He in the second semi-final, beating 90 points for his last two dives as he scored 480.80 while Mexico's Rommel Pacheco was third through in 460.25.

Ukraine's Illya Kvasha, who won the UK leg in Edinburgh 12 months ago, will complete the line-up after scoring 477.45 to finish behind Kuznetsov and Zakharov in his semi.

Men's 3m Springboard Qualifiers

1ST - Evgeny Kuznetsov (Russia) (508.60)

2ND - Illya Zakharov (Russia) (489.50)

3RD - He Chong (China) (485.40)

4TH - Jack Laugher (Great Britain) (480.80)

5TH - Illya Kvasha (Ukraine) (477.45)

6TH - Rommel Pacheco (Mexico) (460.25)