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Jack Laugher

First ever British Diving Gold medallist at the Olympic Games

News

11 April 2018Jack Laugher strikes gold for England to keep diving hat-trick hopes on course at Commonwealth Games

Having started his day with a grumble about the Aquatic Centre colour scheme, claiming that there was too much blue in his eye-line, diver Jack Laugher ended it smitten with the sight of gold.

In a rare instance of an English medal hope justifying the form guide, the 23 year-old was seldom threatened in the 1m springboard competition, becoming only the country’s second athlete at these Games, after Adam Peaty, to follow Olympic gold with a Commonwealth title.

Laugher prevailed in spite of a plethora of injuries, which had restricted his Gold Coast preparation to just a fortnight, as well as the distracting colour palette of a spectacular open-air seaside arena. Clearly struggling to place his dives during the preliminary round, he said after the final: “It is always very hard when all you can see outside is the same shade. From sky to sea, everything is blue.”

For all his visual issues, Laugher glided to victory, leading after the first round and easing through the next five without any serious challenger, as he took gold with a score of 438 points, 25.55 clear of Australia’s James Connor in second. James Heatly completed a family circle by securing bronze, Scotland’s first Commonwealth diving medal since his late grandfather Sir Peter Heatly took the last of three golds in 1958.

“My grandfather was my inspiration and he’s the reason I’m doing this today,” Heatly reflected. “I trusted myself and felt confident. I’m a bit emotional, because it means so much to me. To be the first Scottish diver to do this since him is incredible.”

Jack Laugher in action for England
Jack Laugher in action for England CREDIT: GETTY IMAGES

For Laugher, it was an auspicious start to a campaign that could yet yield a further two golds, with the 3m individual event and the 3m synchronised, where he savoured Olympic glory in Rio alongside Chris Mears, still in his sights. Not that he appeared too anxious about the prospect, joking that he planned to have a night session on his PlayStation despite another 6.30am start.

In a gilded few hours for England at the diving pool, Alicia Blagg and Katherine Torrance earned a silver in the women’s 3m synchro, making a mockery of the fact that they had only trained for two weeks in each other’s company.

“We thought, ‘We’ll just wing it, throw the dice and see what happens,’” Blagg said. “I guess that it went pretty well.”

Source : Telegraph

https://www.telegraph.co.uk/sport/2018/04/11/jack-laugher-strikes-gold-england-keep-diving-hat-trick-hopes/