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Olivia Alderton delivers gold for Crystal Palace in thrilling finish

Olivia Alderton produced a clutch final dive to beat Hannah Blake to the Girls 12-13 Years Platform title at the Swim England Diving National Age Group Championships.

Crystal Palace Diving Club’s Alderton was in second place heading into the last round, trailing Blake by just 0.60 points.

City of Sheffield’s Blake had moved into top spot with her final dive – a back one-and-a-half somersaults, which scored 38.00 points to take her overall total to 229.95.

That meant Alderton needed at least 38.65 points to snatch the gold medal from Blake and she certainly delivered.

Alderton’s inward two-and-a-half somersaults was rewarded with 39.15 points to lift her into top spot, forcing Blake to settle for silver.

The Crystal Palace diver had never moved out of the podium positions in a packed field of 24 competitors and improved on the silver she won in this event last year. 

“It’s really exciting, I’m really happy about winning gold,” Alderton said.

“I’ve got the 1m tomorrow and then 3m on Sunday, so I’m looking forward to both of them but the 3m is probably my favourite.

“The result was really close, Hannah did really, really well. I’m definitely going to celebrate with a Pizza Express tonight.”

It was Crystal Palace’s second win of the day, after Corin Burrows Mackley earlier won the 9-11 Years 1m title.

Bronze medallist Lily Chandler, representing Star Diving Club, was the only other diver to score more than 200 points, comfortably finishing third with a score of 213.70.

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