Commonwealth gold for Laugher and Mears
1 August 2014
England’s synchronised divers won three medals on the penultimate day of diving at the Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games
Jack Laugher and Chris Mears won gold in the 3m Synchronised springboard with Nick Robinson-Baker and Freddie Woodward taking bronze, while Tom Daley and James Denny secured silver with an impressive final dive in the 10m Synchro.
Leeds-based pairing Laugher and Mears, who won three medals on the FINA Diving World Series this season, scored more than 80 for three of their required dives to take gold in the 3m Synchro on 431.94.
Australia's Matthew Mitcham and Grant Nel were more than 25 points back on 403.14 for silver.
"To have two golds and a silver medal is just amazing, I couldn’t be happier" - Jack LaugherThe win means Laugher has won a medal on each of the three days of competition at the Royal Commonwealth Pool in Edinburgh, with gold in the 1m Springboard and silver in the 3m Springboard.
Laugher said: “It’s absolutely amazing to be a double Commonwealth champion.
“To come here with my best mate and get a gold medal is fantastic. To have two golds and a silver medal is just amazing, I couldn’t be happier.
“There’s always pressure, especially after last night where I didn't put in a great performance, but today me and Chris just wanted to nail it like we’ve been doing all year and we’re really happy with what we’ve done.”
Mears, who finished fourth in the 1m Springboard on the opening day of competition, said: “It means absolutely everything to do this with Jack. We spend so much time together professionally and socially that to smash it today like we wanted to was absolutely amazing.
"This is definitely a sign of things to come" - Chris Mears“It was especially great because a couple of days ago in the 1m I was so close to that bronze and I just missed out by five or six points which was absolutely gutting for me. So to come forward today and get a gold like I knew I could was absolutely fantastic.
“This is definitely a sign of things to come. We’ve got a lot of preparation up to Rio but this is our first year of doing synchro, so we’re really happy.”
Robinson-Baker and Woodward performed consistently to score a total of 364.41 and secure the bronze medal.
Robinson-Baker, who finished fourth in the 3m Synchro at the Delhi Games, said: “These guys have set the standard for the week. It’s been amazing to go up there and compete for England at the Commonwealth Games.”
19-year old Woodward was competing at his first Commonwealth Games. He said: “It’s been an incredible experience and such a fun competition. There was lot of nerves and lots of excitement but I have had a great time and I’m really happy with a bronze.”
In the 10m Synchro Daley and Denny scored an impressive 95.49 on their final dive to finish above the Malaysian pairing of Ooi Tze Liang and Chew Yiwei to win silver with a total score of 399.36.
The four pairs were split by only 14 points going into the final round with Daley and Denny, who were competing for the first time together, in last place.
But high scores on both the execution and synchronisation of the high tariff forward 4.5 somersaults tucked meant they finished just 0.18 points behind Australians Domonic Bedggood and Matthew Mitcham (399.54).
Denny is competing at his debut Commonwealth Games. He said: “To finish on a dive like that, I couldn’t have asked for anything better really.
“Tom just told me to ‘give it my all’ before that last dive and we came out with the highest score of the competition.”
"We’ve only ever done three training sessions together so we’re pretty happy with the way we dived" - Tom DaleyDaley added: “We’ve only ever done three training sessions together so we’re pretty happy with the way we dived.
“Our other optional dives weren’t quite as good as they could have been, but we’ve got the Europeans this month so hopefully we’ll be able to improve on our performance there.”
In the women’s 1m Springboard final Hannah Starling led the English athletes scoring a total of 264.05 for seventh place.
The 19-year old, who is also making her Commonwealth Games debut, scored 58.50 on her highest tariff dive, the forward 2.5 somersault piked.
Starling said: “I’m very happy with my performance today. Two of my top three scores I performed today which is really good.
“I’ve never done a Commonwealth competition before. It’s such a friendly environment and really fun to compete in.”
“There were some nerves before the prelims when I realised it was my first Commonwealth competition but as soon as I stepped on the board I could see my family and friends and it was really fun.”
Rebecca Gallantree, who won the 3m Synchro title on day one with Alicia Blagg, finished on 259.20 for ninth place.
Gallantree started strongly but dropped points on her back 1.5 somersaults piked. She said: “There were a couple of dives that didn’t go quite as well as I had hoped but overall I’m pretty happy with my 1m performance and I’m looking forward to tomorrow and the 3m Springboard.”
Blagg finished just behind her synchro partner in tenth place with 257.50 points after an under-rotated entry on her second dive, the reverse 1.5 somersault piked.
She said: “I’m a bit gutted about the reverse but the rest of it was really good and I’m happy with my performance. That was my best back and half I’ve ever done.
“I don’t think winning the gold early on has affected me at all. It should be a positive and make me feel more confident.
“Today just wasn’t my day but hopefully tomorrow will be better. I’m looking forward to it and excited to be diving in front of the crowd again.”