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Laugher finishes eighth at debut World Championships

22 July 2011

Double world junior champion Jack Laugher underlined his huge potential at his debut senior World Diving Championships, finishing eighth in the 3m Springboard final in Shanghai.

The 16-year old – who secured Great Britain a London 2012 Olympic quota place for the event by qualifying for the final – put in a consistent performance to finish on 453.50.

I don't think I've had a better competition in my life - to have proved myself here is fantastic.

The City of Leeds diver’s top-eight finish also guarantees him a spot in the lucrative FINA World Series next season.

China’s He Chong (554.30) ultimately dominated the competition to pick up gold while Russia’s Ilya Zakharov (508.95) and Evgeny Kuznetsov (493.55) took silver and bronze respectively.

But having qualified for the final in 11th, the British champion held his own in an experienced field, scoring 75 points or more for five of his six dives.

"I really don't think I've had a better competition in my life," said Laugher. "I tried really hard to put the nerves to the back of my mind and because I didn't have any expectation for the final, I managed to cope really well.

"It's just absolutely amazing and it's really helped my confidence to have performed on the world stage like this.

"I thought the World Series was a possible long-shot for me and to have proved myself here is fantastic.

"I know I need to improve my tariff for next year and I'll look to learn some new dives in the close of the season."

Laugher’s second dive (reverse 2.5 somersaults 1.5 twists pike) was the highlight of his list as he picked up 77.55 while he also scored 76.50 for both his reverse 2.5 somersaults pike and his forward 2.5 somersaults 2 twists pike.

In this morning’s women’s 3m Springboard preliminaries, Hannah Starling and Rebecca Gallantree finished 27th and 29th respectively, missing out on a place in the semi finals.

World Championship debutante Starling scored 259.40 while Gallantree picked up 251.45.

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