Noah Williams makes international breakthrough with World Series goldMarch 2, 2020
Noah Williams claimed his first ever individual international title, winning gold in the Men’s 10m Platform at the opening leg of the FINA Diving World Series in Montreal, Canada.
The 2019 British champion had missed out on a podium place alongside Matty Lee in the 10m Synchronised on Friday, but continued his strong push towards the 2020 Olympic Games in the solo event.
The British pair led the way after two rounds, with Tom Daley going top of the standings thanks to a superb inward three-and-a-half somersault.
Williams then took the lead with his own 407C, following that with his highest scoring dive – a reverse three-and-a-half somersaults for 90.10 points – to open up a 20-point lead with two rounds remaining.
Russian Aleksandr Bondar got within seven points of Williams, but the 19-year-old showed great composure to close out the victory, finishing more than 20 points clear on 493.35.
That sealed Williams’ most impressive individual win of his fledgling career, having previously picked up synchro and team medals at the European Championships, Commonwealth Games and FINA Grand Prix.
The Dive London athlete reached the final of the 2019 FINA World Championships to qualify a spot for Great Britain at Tokyo 2020, where he will hope to make his Olympic debut.
Williams said: “The field was really good. It was my second competition of the season because I had nationals earlier in the year.
“It’s really great to put in a performance like this. I came in with not much pressure because it’s my first individual World Series and it’s great to come out with a result like this.”
Consolation for Daley
The last of the individual finals, the Men’s 10m Platform, witnessed some amazing dives including 🇬🇧 Tom Daley’s last effort of the evening worthy of 100.80 points 💪. #DWS2020 📺 WATCH ON https://t.co/nzeAyslyoopic.twitter.com/QQivQhaSBa
— FINA (@fina1908) March 1, 2020
Daley’s bid for an individual medal was undone by his third dive – a forward three-and-a-half somersault with a twist which scored just 39.60 points to drop him into fifth place.
The two-time Olympic medallist had executed the dive well in the semi-finals on his way to qualifying second, behind Williams.
Daley finished with a statement, though, scoring more than 100 points for a near flawless back three-and-a-half somersaults.
The 2019 World Series champion bounced back in the Mixed 3m Synchronised, winning silver alongside Grace Reid.
The pair kept the pressure on Canadian duo Jennifer Abel and Francois Imbeau-Dulac, but finished 4.95 points shy in second place.
Daley will be pleased with his overall form as he prepares for his fourth Olympic Games, having overcome a hand injury which kept him out of the British Championships.
He said: “Today there were some ups and downs. I did some really good dives this morning and I did a couple of good dives this afternoon.
“I am coming back from a bit of an injury and I only got back to training last week, so I am glad that I was able to compete here in the first place.
“I know that I ran out a little bit of steam, today, but that’s just training endurance and it will come back in a few weeks. I will be competing in the Kazan and London World Series events.
“I know that the only competition that matters is this summer in Tokyo and you just have to do it on that day, something that I learned the hard way a couple of times.
“You can win all the World Series events or you can lose all of the World Series events and it really doesn’t matter. I know that I just have to trust the process and get there day by day.”
Great Britain won four medals in Montreal, with Jack Laugher winning silver in both the 3m Springboard and 3m Synchronised.