Laugher and Mears on song as GB secure another Olympic quota place
21st February 2012
Jack Laugher and Chris Mears impressed for the British Gas GBR Diving Team as they reached the 3m Springboard semi-final on the second day of the FINA Diving World Cup at London Aquatics Centre.
While Laugher had already secured an Olympic quota place for Great Britain with his eighth place at last year’s World Championships, Mears’ World Cup performance means the Brits can line up with two divers at London 2012.
Laugher put in a consistent performance throughout the rounds in his first appearance of the week, hovering around the top five from his opening dive.
To score that well at a big event like this is a really good feeling.
In the third round of the competition the City of Leeds diver brought out his hardest tariff dive the Reverse 3 1/2 Somersaults tucked to score a total of 91.00 points.
Laugher ultimately progressed in fifth and finished with a score of 458.05.
“It was absolutely incredible,” said Laugher. “The crowd were so loud – I’ve never heard anything like it.
“It was completely packed out as far as I could see so I was absolutely buzzing for my first dive and everything seemed to go pretty well from there.
“The Reverse 3 1/2 is actually one of my newest dives and it’s the highest diving difficulty on my list for the prelims. To score that well at a big event like this is a really good feeling.”
Mears put in his best dive in the final round with an Inward 3 1/2 Somersaults tucked to score him 429.35 overall and finish 14th with the top 18 progressing.
“To be honest I can’t remember much of it already,” said Mears.
I wanted to get in there with a steady list and then I nailed my last dive which was great.
“I was nervous but I think I used the crowd to my advantage. I wanted to get in there with a steady list and then I nailed my last dive which was great.
“We’ve got that second Olympic quota place now so I don’t need to worry about that and from that perspective it couldn’t have gone any better.
Monique Gladding became Great Britain’s first individual diving finalist at the London Aquatic Centre and acquitted herself well, finishing 10th in the women’s 10m Platform.
The City of Sheffield diver progressed 10th from the morning semi finals and produced another steady performance in the evening session.
If someone had told me a year ago that I would finish 10th in the World Cup final, I would've taken it.
After scoring 67.50 for her first dive, Gladding also saved her best until last, scoring 72.00 on her Forward 3 1/2 somersaults piked to finish on 326.35 in her first major international final since the 2010 Commonwealth Games in Delhi.
"It was quite an experience being in my first World Cup final," said Gladding.
"I was super-pumped which was frustrating as I dropped two of my best dives.
"I'm really happy though. If someone had said to me a year ago that I would have finished 10th in the World Cup final, I would've taken it."
Gladding's British teammate Stacie Powell finished 15th overall on 291.50 after one dropped dive cost her a place in the final.
The Olympic finalist - who signalled her return to form with victory at January's British Gas National Cup in Southend - was lying third in the semi-final before scoring 22.40 for her Inward 3 1/2 Somersault in tuck position.
But the Southampton Academy diver insists she will take plenty of positives from the meet, having been ranked in the top five right until her final effort.
"I was doing really well until the last dive so overall I am pleased," said Powell.
I'm really pleased with the first four dives and now I know I can do it - I have more self-belief.
"It is a chance for me to learn not to make the same mistake again. The start was very good but I was spinning too quick.
"But I am really pleased with the first four dives and now I know I can do it - I have more self-belief.
"You learn more from your mistakes so I'm not really upset on missing the final. I will learn from it and not make the same mistake at the Olympics."