Record medal haul and a full set of Paris places for British divers in DohaFebruary 13, 2024
Doha 2024 marked a record breaking World Championships for British Diving with the team of 12 divers recording the nation’s largest ever medal haul whilst also securing the final three Olympic quota spots for Team GB at the Paris Olympic Games.
Their results across last year’s Championships in Fukuoka, the 2023 European Games in Poland and now the worlds in Doha means that Team GB have a full cohort of spots for the Olympics this summer.
The tally of seven medals marked the teams best, one more than the previous record in Budapest two years ago.
That haul got underway with a perfect start with the Mixed Team Event title on the opening night.
Andrea Spendolini-Sirieix, Scarlett Mew Jensen, Dan Goodfellow and the returning Tom Daley teamed up to secure the title in the event that sees each diver complete one individual dive, on top of one mixed 3m and one mixed 10m synchronised dive across the group.
Mew Jensen and Goodfellow’s individual dives started the contest to put GB into the top three before Daley’s first international dive since the Tokyo Olympics came from the springboard rather than his usual home of the 10m board.
He teamed with Mew Jensen to record the rounds highest scoring effort after their Forward 3 ½ Somersaults Pike earnt them 72.85 points.
That propelled Great Britain to the top of the standings, just ahead of Mexico before Spendolini-Sirieix helped close out the contest with her individual armstand dive earning 75.20 points. She then teamed with Daley for the final effort from the 10m board which earnt a crucial 76.80 points to give GB a total of 421.65 which was 8.85 points clear of the Mexican quartet.
The results meant it was British Diving’s first gold at a World Championships since Daley’s 10m Platform title in 2017 and the Olympic champion is delighted to be back in the fold for the run-up to Paris.
He said: “I was so nervous doing my first dive in international competition for two-and-a-half years – and it was on springboard, doing a hurdle step, I was so terrified! But it feels good to be back out there and competing again, and to do it alongside this team has just been amazing,” he said.
“The strength of British Diving at the moment is absolutely incredible, the depth that we have in the sport is like it’s never been. Andy [Andrea] up on 10m is doing incredible things, Scarlett down on the springboard is doing awesome things, and Dan has already qualified his Olympic spot, so he’s come here to do one dive and he’s world champion!”
Wrapping up those final Olympic place
Just three Olympic quota places were left to secure for Team GB in Doha with a spot in each of the men’s and women’s 3m springboard and one in the men’s 10m synchro to ensure the maximum number of place for GB athletes in Paris.
The first of those was won by City of Sheffield diver Ross Haslam – who had a strong week in Qatar.
He made sure of the spot after advancing to the final of the Men’s 3m Springboard where he eventually finished in sixth place.
But it was Haslam’s performance on the 1m that really stood out with his bronze giving him his first ever World Championships medal.
It was an impressive comeback showing where he propelled himself from seventh after round two to third in the standings by the end of the contest.
Three of his final four dives all scored more than 70 points as he fought his way back to the podium to finish the contest on 393.10 points.
Having battled back from several injuries in recent years, the result meant so much to Ross on his return to the global stage.
“I can’t believe it, I honestly can’t believe it. I felt like I knew I was capable of doing it, I just didn’t necessarily believe that it would happen for me, so I’m dumbfounded,” said the Tom Owens-coached diver.
The second spot then came courtesy of Daley and Noah Williams’ silver in the men’s 10m synchro.
In their first international competition as a pair, the duo set a new British Diving record score of 422.37 to earn the medal and that a place for Team GB in the French capital.
Across the entire six-round competition, Tom and Noah never deviated from silver-medal position, strengthening their grip on a medal and Olympic place with each passing dive.
Their best dive came in the final round with a Forward 4 1/2 Somersaults Tuck dive bringing 83.25 points from the judges and seeing them finish only behind champions Lian Junjie and Yang Hao of China.
Scotland’s Grace Reid also impressed throughout the event. She won Women’s 1m Springboard silver on the opening day in Doha before her efforts in the 3m event ensured one of the remaining quota spots GB needed for Paris.
Historic week for women’s diving
It was a historic week for British women’s diving with all five of the female athletes on the team placing on the podium.
Last year’s two synchro medals were Great Britain’s first world medals in women’s events but in Doha four women’s medals were added to the tally.
Following Reid’s 1m springboard silver, the same two teams from 2023 repeated the feat to return from Doha with more silverware.
Spendolini-Sirieix and Lois Toulson in the 10m Synchronised Platform and Mew Jensen and Harper in the 3m Synchronised Springboard both won bronze in hard-fought finals in Doha.
In a tight battle for the podium Spendolini-Sirieix and Toulson came from fourth with one dive to go to take the bronze with an expert Back 2 ½ Somersaults 1 ½ Twists Pike which scored 74.88 to give them a total of 299.34.
Mew Jensen and Harper had even more of a challenge to overcome after a dramatic redive interrupted their run to successive world bronze medals.
At the start of their advance in round three a short burst of music in the arena played, interrupting the duo and forcing a redive to be required.
They quickly composed themselves and got back on the boards to score 63.90 in the round to keep them in the podium places which they held until the end.
The final British medal went to Spendolini-Sirieix in the individual Women’s 10m Platform where the Dive London athlete produced one the standout performances of her young career so far.
In her maiden worlds final the Commonwealth champion upped her game, sitting in third throughout the contest just behind the Chinese duo of Quan Hongchan and Chen Yuxi.
The 19-year-old pulled out a show-stopping closing Back 2 1/2 Somersaults 1 1/2 Twists Pike (5253B) to score 8.5s and nines in the final round to finish on 377.10 points ahead of Kim Mi Rae of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea.
It ensured the bronze – and after Grace Reid made history by becoming the first British woman to win an individual World Championship medal with 1m Springboard silver on Friday, Andrea’s success was the first such result in an Olympic event.
“It’s been a long wait. At my first World Championships in Budapest in 2022, I didn’t even make the semi-finals, and then last year, I didn’t make the final,” Spendolini-Sirieix said.
“So to be able to make the final and also on to the medal table, it’s incredible. By the grace of God, I am so happy, it is amazing!
“I made sure I was aware of the scores. I tried to enjoy it a lot more than I did in the semis – in the semis, I was so nervous because I wanted to make it to the final.
“But me and Alex [coach Alex Rochas] decided we just needed to enjoy ourselves, and it was so fun! I did know where I was [in the standings], and it was just about keeping cool, not getting ahead of myself, humbling myself and remembering I still had more rounds to go – but it turned out well!”
Impressive performances and how to catch-up
Last year’s World silver medallists, Jack Laugher and Anthony Harding narrowly missed out on a medal place this time around.
They placed fifth in a mammoth 27-pair Men’s 3m Synchronised Springboard final where they were seven points off of a medal spot.
It was a similar story for Haslam and Reid as they teamed up on the final day for fourth place in the Mixed 3m Synchronised event.
They ended up just eight points outside of a medal place with a total score of 278.28 from their five dives.
Kyle Kothari and Williams played their part in a thrilling Men’s 10m Platform finale to close out the week in Doha.
They ranked sixth and seventh respectively in an event where you needed a staggering 528 points to make the podium.