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Lexie Howard wins first gold with 1m victory

Crystal Palace diver Lexie Howard bagged her first gold of the 2015 ASA National Age Group Diving Championships with victory in the Group A 1m Springboard.

The 15-year old dominated the eight-dive event and was the only diver to break 300 points as she took gold on 302.20 – nearly 35 points clear of the field.

I felt a lot of pressure today, and on my hurdle step dives I was so nervous, but they went okay in the end.

City of Sheffield’s defending champion Rhian Humpage – who won the 3m title on the opening day – took the challenge to Howard, lying just 15 points behind after seven dives.

The 16-year old ultimately claimed silver on 267.65 with Plymouth’s Jenny Bunsell claiming bronze on 263.40.

And Howard admitted her performance was the perfect tonic after a failed dive put paid to her gold medal ambitions in yesterday’s 3m as she settled for bronze.

“It felt amazing to come back and win after that failed dive yesterday,” said Howard, who claimed a clean sweep of the 1m, 3m and Platform titles in the Group B age group 12 months ago.

“I really didn’t think I’d be able to do it so it feels really good. I felt a lot of pressure today, and on my hurdle step dives I was so nervous, but they went okay in the end.”

Liam Morrell-Phillips scoops Platform gold for Beaumont

Meanwhile, Beaumont Diving Academy’s Liam Morrell-Phillips landed his club’s first medal of the Championships with Group B Platform gold.

The 15-year old was the only one of last year’s medallists competing in Sheffield. And he showed his experience to step up from bronze to gold, winning the title on 235.05.

“I was meant to be competing at Elites, but I broke my hand so unfortunately I wasn’t able to go,” said Morrell-Phillips. “So I came back here this year hoping to do better and I’ve come away with gold so I’m very pleased.

“I’m really happy with my forward 2 1/2. In training it wasn’t going so well, but in competition I managed to do it absolutely fine.

“That’s given me some confidence for the rest of the week but I’m just going to do my best and see what happens.”

City of Sheffield’s Conrad Lewandowski was snapping at his heels throughout and took silver on 231.75 while City of Leeds’ Harrison Green claimed bronze on 223.40.

In the Elite Group C 3m Prelims, Southend’s Tyler Humphreys led the way to tonight’s final in the boys’ event on 332.20. Bradford Esprit’s Holly Waxman was top qualifier in the girls’ event on 311.35.

  • Click here to view full results from the ASA National Age Group Diving Championships 2015.
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