Couch hits top form as Brits progress

24th July 2013

Tonia Couch hit top form on day five of the 2013 World Championships to qualify in second place for the women’s 10m Platform final.

Competing at her fifth Worlds, the Brit recorded her highest ever total in individual competition to score 368.15 in the semi final and progress behind China’s Olympic and defending World champion Chen Ruolin (373.65).

The British Gas GBR Diving team will have two women in a World Championship 10m final for the first time after Couch’s training partner at Plymouth, Sarah Barrow also progressed, scoring 316.05 to finish sixth.

Having shown glimpses of her best to qualify eighth from the morning prelim, Couch led the way in the semi through the second, third and fourth rounds, an 83.20 for her inward 3 ½ somersaults with tuck the highlight of her list.

Couch’s previous best at a World Championships was 351.00 for eighth place in 2009 but she sailed past that in Barcelona, not scoring below 7.5 for a single of her five dives.

"I don’t actually know what happened," said Couch. "I seemed to be able to put everything together at the same time so I’m really pleased with myself.

"Today made me a lot more confident. Going into the prelims, I was a little worried because I hadn’t done an individual at this level since the Worlds in 2011.

"I’m going to go in tomorrow and do the same and enjoy myself because I really enjoyed myself today and it put me in a good position to dive.

"It was really exciting at the end but in a way, I’m glad I didn’t finish first because I wouldn’t have known what to do with myself! I’ve got nothing to lose tomorrow."

Barrow also qualified strongly, lying in second after two rounds courtesy of a 76.80 top score for her inward 3 ½ somersaults with tuck.

While a missed fourth dive for her reverse 2 ½ somersaults with tuck was harshly given 33.75, she recovered with 72.00 for her final dive to book her final berth on her individual World Championship debut.

"I was a bit disappointed to drop my fourth dive but to come sixth in the world with a dropped dive proves I can still achieve a good result tomorrow," said Barrow.

"I’m looking forward to it now and I’ll go in and have a bit of fun."

The British pair - who finished fifth together in the 10m Synchro earlier in the meet - will compete in the final at 16:30 BST tomorrow.