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Laugher storms to victory in Southend

27th January 2012

World Championship finalist Jack Laugher started his 2012 season in style with victory in the men’s 1m Springboard at the British Gas National Cup in Southend-on-Sea.

The City of Leeds diver won his preliminary just ahead of Chris Mears and went into the final aiming to complete another consistent list of dives.

That's the highest score I've achieved on the 1m.

Laugher added the Inward 2 ½ Somersaults piked to his list and although he missed his entry in the final to drop marks, completed the next four dives to scores of sevens and eights to win his first title of the competition.

The 16-year-old won gold with a score of 384.60.

“That was the highest score that I have achieved on 1m,” Laugher said. “I added the Inward 2 ½ this year and it wasn’t great in the final but it is good to use it in competition.

“The 1m was about building up to my main event the 3m tomorrow and I think that I’ve blown the cobwebs away today. I haven’t competed properly since the World Championships last year due to the close of season but today has gone well and only gives me confidence for the rest of the competition.”

Mears (Southampton Diving) won silver with a total score of 366.95 and Ben Swain (City of Sheffield) took bronze with a score of 345.25.

Crystal Palace’s Rhea Gayle took on Alicia Blagg in the final of the women’s 1m Springboard as they battled in the first final of the British Gas National Cup.

The City of Leeds diver took the lead from the first dive with a strong Inward 1 ½ Somersaults piked but Gayle remained on her heels throughout the competition.

Blagg dropped marks on her final dive the Reverse 1 ½ Somersaults 1 ½ Twists in Free position to give Gayle the upper hand.

Gayle took gold with a total score of 267.20 and Blagg won silver with 266.25 points.

“I am really happy to have come here and won that event,” Gayle said. “I needed to have a good competition and get that under my belt because I have had some tough training this winter. It feels good to get that done before I can focus on the 3m.

“I get quite nervous before competitions and I went into the 1m with no expectations on myself which I think helped me hold my nerve. I coped well with the final and I am pleased with the dives and the scores.”

Leeds City College Aquatics’ Chloe Hurd won bronze with a score of 245.95.

The Men’s 3m Synchro saw Callum Johnstone and Matthew Roberts (City of Leeds) take the victory with a twenty point lead on the rest of field.

Johnstone and Roberts performed their required dives well to score 99.00 points as they moved into the optional rounds.

Their top scoring optional dive was the Front 3 ½ Somersaults piked which scored 69.75 points.

The pair won the competition with a score of 365.07 with Daniel Goodfellow (Cambridge Diving Team) and Sam Thornton (Bradford Espirit) taking silver with 340.08 points.

Bronze went to Josh Dowd (Leeds City College Aquatics) and Charles Calvert (City of Leeds) with 307.98 points.

World Championship finalists Sarah Barrow and Tonia Couch won the women’s 10m Synchro to continue their reign as the country’s top synchro pairing.

The pair that just missed out on the medals in Shanghai last season missed one of their dives but scored 313.14 to win the title.

Stacie Powell (Southampton Diving) and Rebecca Gallantree (City of Leeds) won silver with 305.76.

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