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Woodward stars on first day of diving in Sheffield

6 June 2014

Freddie Woodward impressed his home crowd on the first day of the British Gas Diving Championships with two gold medals in the 1m Springboard and 3m Synchro.

Woodward scored his first gold by beating four-time British champion Oliver Dingley to the victory in the men’s 1m Springboard.

"I’m in the form of my life so I knew if I just went in and did my dives then anything could happen," - Freddie WoodwardThe 18-year old qualified in third place from the prelim and went into an early lead in this evening’s final with a score of 63.70 for his first dive.

The City of Sheffield diver continued to show his form and performed his Reverse 2 ½ Somersaults tucked for a score of 69.00.

Woodward finished with 384.60 points which surpassed his previous highest mark by more than 40 points.

“It’s amazing to be British Champion,” Woodward said. “I think that is one of my standout performances. I’ve always had better results in 3m and 3m Synchro so to dive like that on 1m is such a good performance.

“I knew that I am training great and feeling really strong. I’m in the form of my life so I knew if I just went in and did my dives then anything could happen.”

Dingley (Southend Diving) took the silver with a score of 365.80 and bronze went to Sam Thornton (City of Leeds) with 348.15 points.

Click here to watch video interviews with the gold medallists from Sheffield.The 3m Synchro saw Woodward pair up with Nick Robinson-Baker for a consistent performance in the final.

The pair scored 102 points for the required dives and their best score 79.56 came from their Front 2 ½ Someraults 2 Twists piked.

The victory, with a score of 405.63, gave Robinson-Baker his seventh British title and Woodward his first on 3m Synchro.

“I couldn’t be happier right now,” Woodward said. “400 points was the benchmark score we were aiming for today. We have been working together for about six months and we’ve been working really hard to get the synchro right.”

“This was our third competition together,” Robinson-Baker said. “It was a great result on home turf.  Freddie brings a lot of youth to the partnership and I bring a lot of experience. 405 is a great score and hopefully we can replicate this later in the season.”

Dingley and James Denny won silver with 386.19 points and bronze went to Thornton and James Heatly with a total score of 358.74.

Plymouth Diving’s Rhea Gayle secured her first gold of the British Gas Diving Championships with an impressive victory in the 1m Springboard.

Gayle, who won the British title in the same event in 2011, looked strong throughout both the prelims and final.

Her best dive, the Front 2 ½ Someraults piked, came in the penultimate round where she scored 58.50 points.

Her final score was 273.15 - her highest ever score.

“It was a really nerve wracking final,” Gayle said. “I managed to compile my nerves and pull myself together and got all my dives on my head. I’m usually really nervous for competitions but with this one I have come into it with a different mindset.”

Silver went to Hannah Starling (City of Leeds) with a score of 262.95 and Gayle’s club-mate Francesca Del Celo won bronze with 256.05 points.

Plymouth Diving’s Shanice Lobb and Robyn Birch won gold in the women’s 10m Synchro with a total score of 270.78. City of Leeds pair, Rebecca Gallantree and Lois Toulson, won silver after scoring 268.44

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