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Gallantree and Starling make historic progression

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3rd August 2012

Team GB have two Brits in the women’s 3m Springboard semi-finals for the first time in history as Rebecca Gallantree and Hannah Starling made smooth progress in London.

Gallantree scored 299.25 to finish 16th while 17-year old debutante Starling progressed 17th on 298.95.

The Brits’ performance was the first time two Team GB divers have progressed to the women’s 3m Springboard semi-finals since they were introduced in 1996.

They were quite good scores but there's room for improvement and I think we both know what we need to do to improve on it.

And with guaranteed top 18 spots for the Games, wherever Gallantree and Starling finish it will be British Diving’s best result at an Olympics in this event since Liz Ferris won bronze and Phyllis Long came seventh in 1960.

Having reached the final and finished ninth on her first visit to London Aquatics Centre at the World Cup in February, Gallantree started of steadily, scoring 63 for her opening forward 2 ½ somersaults, 1 twist in pike and 54 for her reverse 2 ½ somersaults in pike.

The 27-year old’s best dive was her third as she picked up 7.5s across the board for her forward 3 ½ somersaults in pike for 69.56.

She dropped her fourth dive – an inward 2 ½ somersaults in pike – for 49.50 but recovered to dive a steady final effort, scoring 7s for her back 2 ½ somersaults in pike to progress.

By making the semis, Gallantree has already bettered her 25th from her Olympic debut in Beijing four years ago, but she insisted she was determined to improve further to make Sunday's final.

"I'm really happy with that," said Gallantree. "They were quite good scores but there's room for improvement and I think we both know what we need to do to improve on it.

"It feels great to have made it through to the semi-final and hopefully I can make some improvements for tomorrow and go out and enjoy it again.

"The fourth dive is my hardest but I know I can do it well and with my second dive, it's just a case of getting it right on the day - sometimes it doesn't go for you but hopefully tomorrow it will."

Starling racked up the second best international score of her career to progress – only bettered by her 318.45 in the World Cup dive-off to qualify for the Games.

I know when I need to step up because my coach gets very jittery - I think I was calmer than him at that point.

She also started positively scoring 60 for her inward 2 ½ somersaults in pike and 60.45 for her forward 3 ½ somersaults in pike.

In contrast to her teammate, Starling’s third was her weakest of the list and she slipped temporarily out of the top 18 after a 48 for her reverse 2 ½ somersaults in pike.

But the teenager showed maturity to recover with her best effort of the five, scoring 7.5s across the board to collect 67.50 for her back 2 ½ somersaults in pike.

And with one foot in the semis, Starling secured her spot with a seemingly nerveless 63 for her forward 2 ½ somersaults, 1 twist in pike.

"If you smile, then the crowd gets louder and the louder they are, the better you feel knowing there are so many people behind you," said Starling.

"I didn't look at my scores but after my mistake on my third dive, my coach was really jittery so I could tell I wasn't in the 18 at that point.

"I know when I need to step up because he goes like that. I think I was probably calmer than him at that point."

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