Kothari and Toulson crowned European champions in only second event togetherAugust 16, 2022
Golden duet Kyle Kothari and Lois Toulson have been crowned European Champions in only their second major event as a diving partnership.
Eight days after winning a silver medal at the Commonwealth Games together, Kothari and Toulson went one better at in the Mixed Synchronised Platform final at Rome’s Foro Italico Sports Complex.
They held their nerve in the final round to grab the gold from Ukraine’s Sofia Lyskun and Oleksii Sereda by only 2.19 points.
Kothari and Toulson were trailing the Ukraine pair by 5.52 points heading into the fifth and last dive but a mistake from the leaders left the British duo in pole position for the title.
And they delivered when it mattered as they achieved their highest score of the competition of 70.08 points for their back two-and-a-half somersaults, one-and-a-half twists in pike to finish on a total of 300.77.
Kothari was not in the initial squad selected for the championships and only travelled to Italy following Matthew Dixon’s withdrawal from the squad through injury.
He said: “It’s a bit of a shock to be fair.
“I knew we’d do well but coming away with a gold especially when we’re still new together – it’s gone perfectly to be honest.
“It was at the Commonwealths we were told we were doing it. We had the benefit of actually doing quite a few sessions there before we competed together there and had a good competition.
“It meant that coming here with some of the slim 5m boards not ideal for training lead up, that prior preparation did give us a bit of an advantage.”
For Toulson, it was a second Mixed Synchronised Platform European title after she won gold in 2017 alongside Matty Lee in Kiev.
She added: “I’m pretty over the moon to be honest, European Champion sounds pretty good doesn’t it?
“We were always aiming for a medal and knew there would be tough competition, but to put that last dive in and come away with gold is great.”
Harper takes sixth
In the Women’s 1m Springboard, Britain’s Yasmin Harper finished in sixth place.
She achieved a final score of 242.20 to finish 22.05 points adrift of Italy’s Elena Bertocchi who took the gold medal with a total of 264.25.
Harper finished strongly, scoring 50.70 for both of her final dives – a reverse one-and-a-half somersaults, one-and-a-half twists followed by a forward two-and-a-half somersaults.
Harper had qualified from the morning’s preliminary round in fifth place, with a score of 243.00.
Her British team-mate Scarlett Mew Jensen missed out on the final after finishing 20th overall – although she did have the highest individual score for a dive.
She picked up 58.50 points in the last round for her forward two-and-a-half somersaults which saw her finish with a total of 198.35