Barrow and Couch make history in London
22nd February 2012
Tonia Couch and Sarah Barrow became the first British medallists at the London Aquatics Centre as they landed a dramatic 10m Synchro bronze on day three of the 2012 FINA Diving World Cup.
The Brits qualified second from the afternoon preliminary and after a slow start to the final, leapfrogged from eighth to bronze with their final dive to become Great Britain’s first female World Cup medallists in history.
Couch and Barrow – who finished fourth at last year’s World Championships – ultimately scored 314.40 for their prize – 5.46 points shy of their performance in the prelims but crucially 3.36 clear of Australia’s World Championship silver medallists Alexandra Croak and Melissa Wu in fourth.
We got out and all I heard was everyone screaming - it was an amazing feeling.
And after collecting their prizes in front of a jubilant home crowd, Couch admitted realising they had won their medal was a moment she isn't likely to forget.
“I knew we had a chance of a medal but we were eighth after our fourth dive so we just knew we had to do that last dive," said Couch.
“I said to Sarah, ‘let’s do this’. We know we can because we’ve done it before.
“We got out and all I heard was everyone screaming – it was an amazing feeling.”
“To hear we’re the first British women to have won a world medal, we’re really pleased with ourselves,” added Barrow. “Our last dive couldn’t have really got much better.”
Teenager Jack Laugher also starred for the British on day three, putting in another performance beyond his years to finish eighth in the 3m Springboard final.
The 17-year old – who also came eighth on his World Championship debut last season – stood toe-to-toe with the world’s elite and ultimately finished on 463.70.
I’ve seen here what the top three in the world are doing so if I can work to that kind of level, the better I’ll be.
After a consistent preliminary and semi-final, Laugher’s final campaign was more of a rollercoaster ride as he scored 94.50 including a ‘10’ from one judge on his reverse 3 ½ somersaults tucked (307C) but then dropped his forward 4 ½ somersaults tucked for 43.7.
But the Brit was adamant his performance in London had been another huge stepping stone in his blossoming career.
“If I’d hit that dive, things could’ve been a lot better but I’m only four points off my personal best so I can only take positives from that,” said Laugher.
“The inward 3 ½ was probably the best dive I’ve ever done in competition. It’s actually quite a new dive – I only started it in December. So it’s great to hit it in competition.
“I’m going to try and keep working hard for the next few months. I’ve seen here what the top three in the world are doing so if I can work to that kind of level, the better I’ll be.”
Laugher’s British teammate Chris Mears was also in action in the 3m Springboard but missed out on the final after finishing 16th in the morning semi-final.
The 19-year old secured a second Olympic quota place for Great Britain in reaching the semi-final and looked set to join Laugher in the final before a dropped dive saw him slip off the pace.
That’s my second semi-final at world level and I kept my cool throughout.
Mears eventually finished on 413.55 but insisted he had taken heart from his performances in London, having also finished 10th in the 3m Synchro earlier in the week.
“I’m really pleased with my performance,” said Mears. “That’s my second semi-final at world level and I kept my cool throughout.
“I dropped one of my dives and unfortunately in this kind of field, when you drop one dive that’s it really.
“I wasn’t really expecting to make the final – I wanted to come in here and get some experience and that’s exactly what I did.”