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Youngsters impress in high class final at British Diving Championships

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Young divers Leon Baker and Euan McCabe impressed alongside some of the best on day two of the British Diving Championships.

The Men’s 3m Springboard final saw the two 14-year-old’s compete against the likes of Dan Goodfellow, James Heatly, Ross Haslam and Anthony Harding.

The Swim England Talent Pathway divers put on a good display in the preliminary round to finish in the top 10 and qualify for the final.

After two medals on the opening day of the championships, Baker had a shaky start but gradually improved through the rounds to finish in eighth place with a total of 329.95 points.

Local lad McCabe, from Plymouth Diving, finished in tenth place with 313.95 points.

The top four all smashed the 440 points barrier, with James Heatly the eventual gold medal winner, meaning he retained his British title.

His personal best of 478.50 placed him just 1.75 ahead of City of Leeds diver, Dan Goodfellow (476.75), who took the silver medal.

Heatly said: “I’m so happy, I couldn’t be happier. I was just thinking about trying to focus on myself because there’s so many good guys out there and anyone could have it on the day.

“We’re all busting out some big dives so, anything could happen. I didn’t really want to watch what was going on I’d rather just focus on me and make it to the end.

“My last dive, the triple out, is new I only learned it in December so we were umming and ahhing about it, but the plan was never to do it in the morning. I wasn’t ready for it at 10am, but I’m glad we made the call.”

Anthony Harding struggled with his final dive, which meant his score of 442.00 was just beaten by City of Sheffield diver, Ross Haslam.

Haslam was consistent throughout and his total of 445.15 points moved him into third place.

First senior individual title for Spendolini-Sirieix

It was the young divers who shone again in the Women’s 10m Platform.

The final saw 15-year-old Andrea Spendolini-Sirieix finish on top of the podium and claim her first senior individual British title, with 340.30 points.

The Crystal Palace diver said: “I have no words, I can’t describe it. I was going for consistency and to beat my own PB. [The next step] is to learn new dives, to carry on with consistency and get better and better and score higher points.

Last year’s champion, Lois Toulson, took silver this time around with 318.60 points, followed closely by Robyn Birch with 315.30.

In the preliminary round for this event, all eyes were on 12-year-old Swim England Diving Talent athlete Maisie Bond.

Competing at her first senior national event, Bond was the youngest diver in the event and finished fifth overall.

However, the City of Sheffield diver did not progress to the final as not all her dives were from the 10m Platform.

Synchro successes

Dive London’s Ben Cutmore and Edinburgh’s Lucas Thomas improved on their 2019 silver medal to take gold in the Men’s 10m Synchro.

The Italian duo of Sargent Larsen and Eduard Timbretti claimed the commemorative silver medals with a total of 333.57, while Edinburgh’s Angus Menmuir and Joe Stocking took the British second place on 290.94.

Cutmore said: “It’s our first competition of the weekend, so to open it out with some brilliant required dives and put away the list for the medal is extraordinary.”

Thomson added: “There’s a few things we could’ve worked on going forward tomorrow, hopefully we can sharpen up a little bit.

“But our required are a really good standard and where they should be at the minute, so we’re really happy with the gold medal.”

In the Women’s 3m Synchro final, Scarlett Mew Jensen and Maria Papworth Burrel retained their British title (273.30), with the commemorative gold going to Elena Bertocchi and Chiara Pellacani of Italy (286.53).

Mew Jensen said: “It went pretty decent  – we haven’t trained at all, really. I think we did our first optional together here.

“Maria has been out a bit because of her back, so to come together like that, we are really chuffed.”

Amy Rollinson and Holly Waxman (240.18) took the British silver, with Callie Eaglestone and Evie Smith (231.54) getting the bronze.