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Great Britain open up the European Diving Championships with bronze

Great Britain won bronze in the opening diving event at the European Aquatics Championships in Rome.

In the Mixed Team Event, the quartet of Andrea Spendolini-Sirieix, Noah Williams, James Heatly and Grace Reid scored a total of 384.70 from their six dives to take the final spot on the podium in an impressive display.

For the event the team must complete six dives – one from each of the six groups – between them with a mixture of both synchro and individual dives from the 3m Springboard and the 10m Platform.

A number of divers struggled with the changeable conditions with the sun and the shade at the outdoor Foro Italico facility in Rome providing a different challenge for the athletes.

It was the 3m dives that got the competition underway with Scottish duo Reid and Heatly beginning the competition with their individual efforts.

Reid stepped up first with a back 2 ½ somersaults pike that scored her 58.50 with Heatly following that up with a forward 4 ½ somersault tuck that earnt an impressive 72.20 points.

The two dives got Great Britain off to a good start with the team sitting in third place after the opening two rounds and just 7.90 off early leaders Spain.

Heatly and Reid then teamed up in round three to perform a forward 2 ½ somersault with one twist in pike that scored a further 54.00 points. Britain did drop to fifth at the halfway stage but the leaderboard closed as the team were still the same 7.90 points off top spot and just over three points off a medal place.

The competition then stepped up to the 10m board for round four with Spendolini-Sirieix going first for her individual dive.

Dive London Aquatics’ Spendolini-Sirieix added 60.20 points to the tally with her reverse 2 ½ somersault tuck before Williams stepped up to the platform.

Williams gave Britain their highest score of the competition with his dive as his arm-stand back 2 somersaults with 2 ½ twists scored a massive 77.40 from the judges.

That moved Britain back up into the bronze medal place with just one dive to go and 13.05 points to make up on leaders Italy who stormed their way to the front.

One week on from their Commonwealth Games gold medal in the Mixed Synchronised 10m Platform Williams and Spendolini-Sirieix teamed up at the same height for the final dive.

The duo scored 62.40 for an inward 3 ½ somersaults tuck which was comfortably enough to keep them in bronze medal position.

After collecting her medal Spendolini-Sirieix said the performance has settled her nerves ahead of the rest of the week.

She said: “Yeah it definitely did [settle the nerves]”

“I’m really happy to have started the competition with the team event with amazing people – I’m really proud of how we did to produce solid diving which is promising and I’m really excited to see what we can do this week.”

Britain’s score of 384.70 was just over ten points ahead of Spain (374.00) who dropped to fourth with Italy (402.55) winning gold and Ukraine (399.05) finishing close behind them in second position.

Diving at the European Aquatics Championships continue tomorrow with the Women’s 1m Springboard and the Mixed Synchronised Platform final.

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