Laugher impresses in Leeds
Double World Junior Champion Jack Laugher continued to make his impact on the senior scene by winning gold in the men’s 3m Springboard at the British Gas National Diving Championships in Leeds.
The City of Leeds diver had a shaky start to the final scoring sevens in the first two rounds but held his nerve to recover with nines for his third dive.
Laugher continued to impress with his consistent scores and took the victory with 453.65 points.
“It’s absolutely great to win today,” Laugher said. “I am so happy. I have the title and taken on some of the best divers in the country. We should know who is competing in Shanghai soon and the idea of competing against the world elite is really exciting.
“I have got a lower degree of difficulty list at the moment but this is something I am working on with my coach and I know it’ll be ready soon.”
The battle for second was between Ben Swain and Chris Mears who were exchanging the lead throughout the competition. The Southampton diver was the first British man to use the Front 4 1/2 Somersaults tucked on a Springboard and although he performed it well in the prelims he missed his entry in the final to give the second spot to Swain.
Swain took the silver with 414.35 and Mears won the bronze with 413.85.
The women’s 10m Platform saw the return of Monique Gladding after her injury in Russia and Tonia Couch after her recent knee injury.
Couch put in a commanding performance throughout the final and held her nerve after dropping a dive to finish with a flourish.
The Plymouth diver scored nines on her Reverse 2 ½ Somersaults tucked to finish with the gold medal after scoring a total of 321.65.
Her club-mate Brooke Graddon scored 305.35 to win silver and City of Leeds’ Sarah Barrow won the bronze with 303.35 points.
Gladding impressed with her steady performance and took fifth place with a score of 295.50.
Recent Grand Prix silver medallists Rebecca Gallantree and Alicia Blagg stormed to the gold in the women’s 3m Synchro.
The City of Leeds pair scored consistently throughout but dropped their Reverse 2 ½ Somersaults piked. They recovered with their Front 2 ½ Somersaults 2 Twists piked to score 283.20.
“It was a good performance but we know our newest dive could have gone better,” Gallantree said. “We know it is something we can work on and if it had been good then we would have scored closer to 300 points. Our aim is to score 100 for our required dives and to get 300 overall and I think we are getting there.”
Robyn Birch and Jessica Williams (Crystal Palace) scored 254.97 to win the silver and Grace Reid and Chloe Hurd (Edinburgh and Leeds City College Aquatics) took 251.22 to win bronze.
The men’s 10m Synchro saw one pair competing and Joe Meszaros and Jack Clewlow scored a total of 375.87.