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′Surprised′ Beal surges to win 1m national title in Sheffield

Edward Beal’s strong finish helped him claim the Boys 16-18 Years 1m title on the second day of the Swim England Diving National Age Group Championships.

The Albatross Diving Club Reading competitor was third after his sixth dive, but moved into top spot with his penultimate dive – an inward one-and-a-half somersaults for 37.20 points.

Beal ensured he won the gold medal by matching that score with his final dive – a forward two-and-a-half somersaults – to finish with 252.15 points.

It’s a significant improvement for Beal, who finished fourth in the 1m at last year’s championships.

He said: “I’m really happy with how I did. The competition was tight all the way through and you could see by everyone’s training that it was going to be this tight.

“I knew going into it that I had a good chance to do well but I’m surprised and very happy that I came first.

“My required dives, my first three, went best, they were really good. The rest of my dives were good but not as good as I can do them so there are areas for improvement, but I’m happy with everything.

“I’m really happy with my coach, he’s fantastic and really supportive and he’s helped me win so I can’t thank him more than that. I’ve got the platform and 3m to come and hopefully I’ll have similar success, hopefully winning some more medals if everything goes well.”

Silver for Watt

Cameron Watt had led after six dives, but was knocked back after scoring 30.00 points with his penultimate dive.

The Sunderland City Dive Team member was rewarded for his final dive – a forward one-and-a-half somersaults with two twists – which had a 2.6 degree of difficulty.

He picked up 37.70 points to claim the silver medal with an overall tally of 249.90.

Southampton Diving Academy’s Jak Holley was just over three points behind in the bronze medal position, scoring more than 30 points with six of his eight dives to finish with 246.35 points.

Guests star in Sheffield

That trio was joined on the podium by two guests, who both impressed at Ponds Forge.

Plymouth Diving’s Curtis Yuen, from Macau, had two dives over 40 points as he finished well clear overall on 286.75 points.

Yuen’s forward two-and-a-half somersaults earned him an impressive 46.80 points as he picked up a commemorative gold medal.

Edinburgh Diving Club’s Jamie McConnell claimed a commemorative bronze medal after finishing third overall with 251.10 points.