Six medals for British divers in opening leg of Diving World Cup

British Swimming’s divers began their 2024 World Aquatics Diving World Cup campaign with six medals at the opening leg in Montreal.

On the back of their impressive World Championship campaign last month, the 11-strong squad added more silverware as they continue the road to Paris with three silvers and three bronze medals at the Parc Olympique – the diving venue for the 1976 Olympic Games.

The action got underway on Friday with the British quartet of Andrea Spendolini-Sirieix, Anthony Harding, Tom Daley and Yasmin Harper improving on GB’s world title winning score to finish second in the Mixed Team event.

Great Britain impressed to move into third place after the opening few rounds before Spendolini-Sirieix and Daley put in some clean dives to leapfrog Australia.

Olympic champion Daley put in Britain’s best dive of the competition with his reverse 3 ½ Somersault from the 10m board earning 88.40 points before he teamed with Spendolini-Sirieix to close out their list with another 80 point dive.

Synchro silvers

Harding was back on the boards to team with Jack Laugher as they returned to the Men’s 3m Synchronised Springboard podium.

After narrowly missing out on a top three place in Doha, the duo secured a silver medal after overcoming a close battle with Mexico.

They finished just under a point ahead of their rivals who had an identical list to the British pair with China taking the gold with 464.79 points.

Laugher and Harding were narrowly ahead for the majority of the contest but a strong Forward 4 ½ Somersault Tuck from the Mexicans in round five saw them sneak into the lead with just one round to go.

Just 0.24 split them before the final dive but the Brits score of 74.88 in the final round for their Forward 2 ½ Somersaults 3 Twists Pike was just enough to regain second place in the standings.

Laugher and Harding ended with a total of 410.64 with Mexico’s Rodrigo Diego Lopez and Osmar Olvera Ibarra on 409.71.

Speaking on the battle for silver, Laugher told World Aquatics: “Our fifth dive wasn’t quite as good as Mexico’s. They caught up, and we had the same dive to finish.

“We edged out slightly with our synchronicity scores but the new Mexican team is obviously very strong and we’ll keep an eye on them for the rest of the year.”

Spendolini-Sirieix and Lois Toulson matched their result in the Women’s 10m Synchronised Platform.

Once again it came down the final dive with Mexico once again challenging them for the silver medal position.

Going into the last of five dives, Spendolini-Sirieix and Toulson knew they needed more than 72.54 points which they did by notching 75.84 points for their Back 2 ½ Somersaults 1 ½ Twists on their way to silver.

After winning World Championship silver last month, the new partnership of Daley and Noah Williams followed up with World Cup bronze in the Men’s 10m Synchronised Platform.

They recorded a total of 417.93 for their six dives and were within 40 points of the gold medal position in just their second international competition as a duo.

Speaking on their medal, Daley said: “Our training beforehand was amazing but in competition, sometimes things don’t quite fall into place.

We’re a new pair – this is our second international event – so there are lots of little things we want to work on. Definitely, we feel like we should be challenging for silver and gold, but for right now, to dive – by far not our best – and come away with bronze is still pretty solid.”

Individual medals for Laugher and Spendolini-Sirieix

Laugher returned to the podium with bronze in the Men’s 3m Springboard.

The three-time world bronze medallists added to his medal tally thanks to a stunning performance that saw him score more than 500 points for his six dives.

Five of his six dives scored more than 80 points a piece with his best dive coming in round three where his Inward 3 1/2 Somersaults Tuck earnt him 88.40 points.

He ended up on a total of 506.00 points with just Mexico’s Ibarra ahead on 512.75 and China’s Zongyuan Wang topping the standings with 549.50.

Discussing his bronze medal, Laugher exclaimed; “Wang Zongyuan is always very consistent. He’s very, very difficult to beat”. “But it’s really enjoyable to dive in a final against Osmar. He’s 10 years younger than I am and we were beating each other in each round. It was really really good fun having that battle”.

Laugher added, “I’m really happy to go home with 500 [points] again and still know there’s more in the tank. I’m really proud of myself and I enjoyed that performance.”

Daniel Goodfellow just missed out on a place in the final in 15th but will look to bounce back in the second leg to help secure his spot in the Super Final next month.

Spendolini-Sirieix’s total of 384.70 points secured her a spot on the Women’s 10m Platform podium.

She finished just 1.6 points ahead of Canada’s Caeli McKay as the teenager added another medal to her ever-growing collection.

Her outstanding list was capped off with an incredible final round Back 2 1/2 Somersaults 1 1/2 Twists Pike which earnt her 86.40 points to take Britain to six medals in the final event of the weekend.

Spendolini Sirieix told World Aquatics that the key to her bronze was to ‘remain humble’ in every dive.

She said: “Once you throw a little bit of concentration off and get a little bit distracted, things can go wrong. I told myself going into the last round I wanted a PB. I didn’t necessarily care about the medal, I just wanted to be myself. And I did.

“Bible scriptures really helped me maintain humility and peace throughout the competition. Sometimes [the verse] changes up, but this time, [Matthew 6:33] was the only one that I needed to keep me calm.”

Toulson also placed sixth in the event with a fine display.

Elsewhere Scarlett Mew Jensen and Harper finish sixth in the Women’s 3m Synchro with Mew Jensen sixth and Scotland’s Grace Reid seventh in the individual event.

The results put the GB cohort in a strong position to qualify spots in events at next month’s Diving World Cup Super Final in Xi’an, China, even before the second leg in Berlin (21-24 March).

You can find full results from the first leg of the 2024 World Aquatics Diving World Cup event here and you can watch the action back on Eurovision Sport.

Images: British Swimming