Mears raises game to make Olympic final
7th August 2012
Chris Mears smashed his personal best to secure a final berth in the 3m Springboard on his Olympic debut at London 2012.
After scraping through last night’s prelims in 18th, Mears raised his game in the semi to progressed ninth on 461.00 to become the first British finalist in the event since Tony Ally in 2000.
That was the best performance of my life in front of a home crowd - I can't quite believe it to be honest.
The 19-year old – the youngest competitor in the semi-final – dived consistently throughout, scoring more than 70 for five of his six dives as he soared past his previous best of 453.65 from this season’s British Gas National Cup.
And having finished 30th at last year’s World Championships and 16th at this season’s World Cup, Mears admitted a top 12 finish in London was beyond his expectations coming in to the meet.
"That was the best performance of my life in front of a home crowd," said Mears, who also finished fifth in the 3m Synchro earlier in the meet.
"It came just when it mattered and now I can say I'm an Olympic finalist. I can't quite believe it to be honest.
"I've come a long way and had a hard time so to be stood up there representing my country with a perfomance like that is absolutely amazing."
Mears started strongly, receiving 8.5s and an 8 to score 73.50 his opening back 2 ½ somersaults in pike.
After a relatively weak second dive for 67.50, the teenager bounced back in style, receiving 8s across the board to score 79.20 his reverse 2 ½ somersaults, 1 ½ twists in pike.
Ranked 15th at the half-way stage, he still had work to do but a 71.40 for his fourth dive moved him up another place before a 78.20 for his penultimate effort – an inward 3 ½ somersaults with tuck – threw him right into contention in 11th.
And Mears booked his final spot in style, receiving 8s for the hardest dive on his lift – the forward 4 ½ somersaults with tuck – to score 91.20 and complete his career best tally.
Mears won’t have any time to celebrate with the 3m Springboard final also taking place today, kicking off at 19:00 at London Aquatics Centre.