Chris Mears and Jack Laugher won their first British title as a synchro pair after winning the 3m Synchro on the first day of competition at the British Gas Diving Championships in Plymouth.
Mears and Laugher were the dominant pairing from the outset and maintained the gold medal position across the six rounds of competition.
Their highest scoring dive was the Front 4 ½ Somersaults tucked which scored them 82.08 points.
They finished with 410.28 points and commented: “We’ve got a big year coming up so this meet was very much about blowing the cobwebs off,” Mears
said. “We tried a new technique coming into this meet and there was some stuff in there that was good and some stuff that wasn’t so good.”
Laugher added: “We’ve got 6 World Series legs to do together, first out in china in a couple of week’s time. And then we have the World Champs later in the year out in Kazan. It’s is a great pool, I’ve dived out there before and it’s the first time we can qualify Great Britain a spot for the Olympics.”
Silver went to Ross Haslam and James Heatly (City of Sheffield, Edinburgh Diving) with 355.08 points and Jack Haslam and Sam Thornton (City of Sheffield, City of Leeds) finished with bronze with 345.36 points.
The women’s 10m Synchro was a three way affair, seeing two clubs vying for medals. Tonia Couch and Sarah Barrow of Plymouth Diving led the event throughout and the remaining two pairs jostled for second and third across the five rounds of dives.
It was the Commonwealth silver medallists that led the way though and Barrow and Couch won the title.
Couch had an uncharacteristic drop in the third round but the final two dives scored the pair 67.50 and 75.84 to give Couch and Barrow a final score of 305.22.
“We are very excited to be British Champions again,” Couch said. “We haven’t done a comp since commonwealths so it was great to get in and get going.”
Barrow commented: “It was really good to be at a British Championships at home, last year we were in Mexico so we weren’t able to compete at the Champs. But we’re back in Plymouth and we were here two years ago so it’s nice to come back and do well.”
Silver went to Robyn Birch and Shanice Lobb (Plymouth Diving) with 267.72 and bronze went to Lauren Grinstead and Sarah White (Southampton Diving Academy) with a total of 244.32.
Jack Haslam put in the performance of his career to win his first British title after taking the gold in the men’s 1m Springboard with an excellent consistent performance.
The City of Sheffield diver, who has returned to his best after having a stress fracture in his back, had a wobbly prelim but brought it back in the final to impress the judges.
His best dive was the Reverse 2 ½ Somersaults tucked which he scored 76.50 for and finished the final with 396.10 points.
“It feels pretty amazing to have won today,” Haslam said. “It’s just sinking in really. It’s a great feeling to put six dives back together again and get a good result.
“Standing on top of that podium felt incredible. Coming here I didn’t expect anything, I knew the competition was wide open and there was a chance but I wasn’t expecting to get that gold so I’m very very happy.”
Silver went to Sam Thornton (City of Leeds) in 371.20 and bronze was won by James Denny (City of Leeds) with a total of 359.35. The international guests lay in second and third place with Oliver Dingley scoring 388.70 and Yona Knight-Wisdom scored a total of 377.30.
Rhea Gayle returned to competition after a tough couple of seasons with gold in the 1m Springboard.
Gayle (Plymouth Diving) scored a total of 252.75 to win gold while Grace Reid (Edinburgh Diving) finished second with 251.50 points. Clare Cryan (City of Sehffield) won the bronze in 245.00.
In the inaugural mixed 3m Synchro event Grace Reid and James Heatly (Edinburgh diving) won with a score of 267.72 while Clare Cryan and Ross Haslam finished second with a total of 248.22.
Swimming News / Diving News courtesy of British Swimming.