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Waterfield strikes bronze to cap historic week

25th February 2012

Peter Waterfield capped off the most successful FINA Diving World Cup in history for the British Gas GBR DIving Team as he won 10m Platform bronze at London Aquatics Centre.

The Olympic silver medallist put on a spectacular show for the 3,500 crowd in the inaugural event at London Aquatics Centre, scoring 99 points for his last dive - a back 2 1/2 somersault, 2 1/2 twists piked - to jump from seventh to bronze.

With Tonia Couch and Sarah Barrow having won 10m Synchro bronze earlier in the week, Waterfield's result meant the British team secured two medals at one World Cup for the first time.

The 30-year old also became the first Brit to win an individual World Cup medal since Chris Snode scooped 3m Springboard gold at the inaugural event in 1979.

Ahead of this event, I said I'd be happy to make the final in the individual but then when you're there, anything can happen.

And Waterfield paid tribute to the influence of the British support in London, not only on boosting his own performance but putting pressure on his rivals.

"I've had a few set backs at the beginning of the year with injuries so I just wanted to come here and put in a good performance," said Waterfield.

"With each competition I've done here, I've sharpened up a bit and I've been able to use the crowd to my advantage.

"Ahead of this event, I said I'd be happy to make the final in the individual but then when you're in the final, anything can happen. You just have to put pressure on people and they do miss dives.

"I was so pleased to get that last dive in. I knew if I did, I'd be in with a chance. That was me done right at the beginning of the round and it puts pressure on the later guys to beat me."

Rebecca Gallantree and Alicia Blagg ensured the British Gas GBR Diving Team reached every final at the event, progressing 11th in the 3m Synchro.

The British duo raised their game to improve on their preliminary score in the final, ultimately scoring 287.10 to maintain their position and finish 11th overall.

It was a big improvement on last year's World Championships and we're so much happier than then.

And Gallantree admitted their performances in London were a good basis to move forward this season.

"Our last dive was really good and our first two were really good," said Gallantree. "It was an encouraging performance and an improvement on this morning as well.

Blagg added: "It was a big improvement on last year's World Championships as well and we're so much happier than we were then.

"The home crowd was the difference. It really gets you going and inspires you to dive well.'

After seeing his team win two medals and secure all but one remaining Olympic quota place over the past six days, National Performance Director Alexei Evangulov admitted the competition had been encouraging but insisted the Brits would not rest on their laurels in the coming months.

To see Peter win a medal this evening has been great and he showed brilliant technique throughout his final.

"This has been a very successful week for us at a World Cup event," said Evangulov. :It is the first time that we have reached all of the finals and we have won two excellent medals. 

"Tonia and Sarah had a great performance and showed they are within the mix for medals on an international stage. 

"To see Peter win a medal this evening has been great and he showed brilliant technique throughout his final. What is exciting is that there is still room for even further improvement. 

"All of our athletes have stepped up in front of a home crowd and they used the support to their advantage which was excellent to see. "

Hannah Starling will look to secure a second Olympic quota place for British Diving in the 3m Springboard dive-off tomorrow.

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