Laugher Defends Springboard Title on Plymouth

9th February 2013

Jack Laugher claimed his third straight British 3m Springboard title in emphatic style on day two of the British Gas Diving Championships.
The 18-year old pulled clear in the second half of the competition, scoring 448.10 to ultimately take gold more than 60 points clear of the field.
The World Junior champion, who finished seventh at the 2011 World Championships, has made a number of changes to his list for the upcoming season.
But it was for two of his more familiar dives where Laugher showed his class, scoring 86.70 for his opening twist dive then 93.10 for his most difficult dive, the forward 4 ½ somersaults with tuck.
And Laugher insisted his latest victory was his favourite national title to date.
“Out of the three, this is probably the one I’m most proud of,” said Laugher. “This is one where I’ve put in new dives and I’ve done front 4 ½ and inward 3 ½ in the same list for the first time.
“Inward was consistent in both prelims and finals and the front was my highest score in both so I’m over the moon with them.
“I’ve only been working on this list for about a month so it’s really new but it’s definitely got potential. I’m not competing much until the end of the year so hopefully I’ll have got it good in time for the Worlds, if I’m selected.”
Southend’s Oliver Dingley, who won 1m gold on the opening day in Plymouth, took silver on 385.10 while 16-year old Daniel Goodfellow (Cambridge) won his first individual medal at senior national level with bronze on 374.75.
Tonia Couch won her second gold of the Championships with victory in the 10m Platform.
Having won 10m Synchro gold with Sarah Barrow 24 hours earlier, the Plymouth diver reclaimed the individual title she last won in 2011 as she scored 365.20 to take gold.
Barrow was Couch’s closest rival in the final as she took silver on 297.25 while 17-year old Crystal Palace diver Georgia Ward claimed her first senior national individual medal with bronze on 292.90.
But there was no keeping up with Couch and the 23-year old admitted it was a confidence boost to out-score her effort from last year’s Olympic trials.
“I’m really pleased,” said Couch. “I scored three more points than I did at the Olympic trials and my hardest dive was my best today.
“That’s probably the highest I’ve ever got on that dive so I couldn’t believe it when I got out of the pool and everyone was cheering 9s and 9.5s.
“Last year I felt I had a lot to improve and this year I’ve gone along and done that. I know I can do better so you never know, I might get higher next time.
“There was a bit of pressure but a little bit of nerves is always good and I’m pleased I could hold it together today.”
Alicia Blagg also claimed her second title of the meet as she teamed up with training partner Rebecca Gallantree to win 3m Synchro gold to her 1m Springboard crown.
The City of Leeds pair, who were seventh at London 2012, led from the opening dive as they scored their highest total as a partnership, finishing on 312.24 to secure gold for the third consecutive British Champs.
And while Blagg has been training with Hannah Starling for the upcoming season, Gallantree was adamant it hadn't been difficult stepping in after Starling withdrew from the competition.
“I was stand in today and Hannah will be diving with Alicia from this season moving forward,” said Gallantree. “I’ll be the reserve and Hannah picked up a little injury so it was nice to step in and dive with Alicia again at the last minute.
“We all train in Leeds and we’re together all the time. It was really easy this time because me and Alicia have had the last three or four years doing a lot of training together so it didn’t take long for us to pick it back up.”
Plymouth's Kayleigh Sinclair and Shanice Lobb scored 250.71 for silver while Crystal Palace's Katherine Torrance and Georgia Ward took bronze on 230.85.