Commonwealth Games: Jack Laugher targets second diving gold in Edinburgh
Last Updated: 31/07/14 8:19am
Jack Laugher will bid for a second Commonwealth Games title on day two of competition in Edinburgh after a golden opening for England's divers.
Laugher won the men's 1m springboard and Alicia Blagg and Rebecca Gallantree claimed gold with a last-dive triumph in the women's synchronised 3m springboard after Sarah Barrow and Tonia Couch secured silver in the women's synchronised 10m platform.
Laugher's victory at the Royal Commonwealth Pool - hosting its third Games after the Edinburgh events of 1970 and 1986 - came ahead of competition in his favoured event, the 3m springboard on Thursday.
The 19-year-old from Harrogate, a former world and European junior champion, said: "It's amazing to come away with gold.
"It's something I've dreamed about since I started diving, 12 years ago. It's not my main event. I've got three metres (on Thursday) and the three-metres synchro with Chris (Mears on Friday).
"This isn't an Olympic event but this gives me confidence for (Thursday), which, if I do well, will give me confidence for Rio. I'm hoping that Rio will be the one for me."
There was a dramatic conclusion to the day as Blagg and Gallantree won England's second gold and third medal from three events.
For Blagg and Gallantree theirs was an unexpected triumph.
The duo had resumed their five-year partnership only earlier this month after being separated by injuries this season.
Third after the fourth of five rounds, a score of 72.54 for their forward 3 1/2 somersault resulted in a total of 300.24 and gold ahead of crestfallen Canadian pair Jennifer Abel and Pamela Ware (295.65).
"I just can't believe it," said Blagg, who is 17 and from Wakefield. "That last dive it was either a medal or no medal. We had no idea. We thought we were in fourth or fifth.
"To do that dive and then see the scoreboard ranked first it was the best moment of my life. Just disbelief."
Earlier in the day Plymouth pair Barrow and Couch conceded a leading position after four of their five dives to take silver in a competitive field missing only China from the 2013 World Championships podium. Canada's Meaghan Benfeito and Roseline Filion won gold.
Couch said: "We thought we might come fifth. We're really pleased with silver."
Barrow and Couch will be joined by 13-year-old Victoria Vincent in the 10m platform individual event on Thursday.
All this comes before Tom Daley, now a 20-year-old veteran, has taken to the boards, proving that English diving is about more than one person and is in rude health two years out from the Rio de Janeiro Olympics.
Daley's competition begins on Friday with the men's synchronised 10m platform before the individual event he won in Delhi in 2010 takes place on Saturday.