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Laugher and Heatly ease through to 3m Springboard semi-finals in Tokyo

Both British divers Jack Laugher and James Heatly ease through to the semi-finals of the Men’s 3m Springboard.

The preliminary round saw 29 divers compete for 18 semi-final places at the Tokyo Aquatics Centre.

After six rounds of action, Laugher, the Rio 2016 silver medallist in this event, qualified in sixth place with a total of 445.05 points.

The 26-year-old scored low in rounds two and three for his reverse 3 ½ somersaults and his inward 3 ½ somersaults, but put in some strong performances in the later rounds.

His highest score of the prelims came in the penultimate round as he racked up 85.50 points for his forward 4 ½ somersaults – a dive of 3.8 difficulty.

Following his performance, Laugher said: “I’m really happy to get through obviously, no one cares who wins today and no one cares who wins tomorrow morning, it’s about the final tomorrow.

“So for me, it’s just about getting through and I showed some really good things in there and gave myself a lot of confidence leading into tomorrow.

Discussing the support of his teammates in the stands, Laugher added: “I’m very grateful that we’ve still got people here. Obviously as every competition goes on you’ve got 48 hours to leave the village and leave Japan so as days go on our team dwindles.

“But my team is a huge family and we’re really lucky to be in such a good place where we’re all friends, we’re all very supportive of each other, every single person came down to support me, James and Yona today so I’m really happy with the support.

“It’s nice having a crowd but at the same time, we’ve done the World Cup earlier this year, we know what it’s like with no crowd, so just really grateful.”

Anything can happen

Similarly, Heatly also achieved his highest score for his forward 4 ½ somersaults, with a huge 96.90 in the final round.

The Edinburgh Diving athlete’s fantastic final dive saw him move above Laugher in the standings and up into fourth place. His total of 458.40 points comfortably secured his semi-final place.

Heatly, who was a silver medallist at the FINA Diving World Cup in Tokyo earlier this year, continued in impressive form ahead of Tuesday’s semi-final and final.

He said he was able to ‘ease into it’ after a ‘shaky’ start to the competition.

The 24-year-old said: “Just to be here and be competing is amazing and it’s my first Olympics so to make it through to the semi – I can’t believe it.

“I kind of had to have a bit of a word with myself, I was a bit shaky going into it but I knew after watching all the other events that everyone had been a bit shaky.

“We’re all a bit rusty in our practice for competition so I had to remind myself of that and it’s not over till it’s over, so I eased into it.

“For me, it’s just about surviving the rounds so prelims done, job one done, so throw down tomorrow.

“I’m very surprised with my fourth place, I don’t actually think I did a fourth place performance but, we’re all a bit rusty competing so a lot of wobbles here and there so it’ll be interesting to see what happens.

“Diving is a sport where anything can happen so I’m just going to follow my process and see what happens.”

Laugher will be looking for a better individual performance after he and dive partner Dan Goodfellow finished seventh in the Men’s Synchronised 3m Springboard final.

Jamaican diver Yona Knight-Wisdom, who came through the Swim England Diving talent pathways and now trains in Edinburgh alongside Heatly, also qualified for the final in thirteenth position with a total score of 411.65.

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