SOME pondered whether there might be a measure of frustration that he was not celebrating a hat-trick of gold medals, but Jack Laugher was not going to let this so-called ‘failure’ affect his mood, and why should he?
The 19-year-old Englishman has still pocketed a very impressive haul of two golds and one silver from his efforts at the Royal Commonwealth Pool this week, and says he is looking forward to enjoying a well deserved meal with his parents this evening.
Laugher’s latest prize is a gold medal in the men’s synchronised 3m springboard, won with teammate Chris Mears, who picked up his first medal of the competition.
Mears’ own story is an incredible one. Having lost a spleen in a diving accident that left him in a coma in 2009, every success he earns feels like a bonus, and he teamed up with Laugher to great effect yesterday, to score 431.94. They led from the second of six dives and rarely looked like slipping up, as Laugher knows he did when losing the lead in the penultimate dive of the men’s springboard final on Thursday night, meaning he had to be content with silver. He later reasoned that three medals from the week of any colour was as much as he could have hoped for.
In the earlier preliminary session for tonight’s women’s 1m springboard final, Scotland’s Grace Reid gave an assured performance to finish seventh out of 13 competitors, and book her place in the this evening’s final, due to start at 6.05pm. The 18 year-old earned a personal best score of 257.90 and can feel confident about tonight, although she did slip from 4th to 7th with her last dive, a back 1 ½ somersault in the pike position.
It did not impact on her qualification hopes, however. There was no such comfort for Tonga’s Maria Zarka, who was the only one of the 13 divers to fail to qualify, having slipped to last place after her own last dive. Cruelly, only one competitor was eliminated, meaning Zarka, the only Tonga diver at the Games, had another reason to feel lonely. She will, however, return tomorrow morning to take part in qualifying for the women’s 3m springboard final.