Dan Goodfellow, Jack Laugher MBE and Robyn Birch all made light work of qualifying for their respective finals on day two of the London leg of the FINA/CNSG Diving World Series.
With the London event, which runs from 17-19 May, acting as the finale of the annual World Series competition, the British divers were making the most of the home advantage with a string of strong performances, and it was Goodfellow and Laugher who led the way in the Men’s 3m Springboard semi-finals on Saturday morning.
Up first was Olympic 10m Synchro bronze medallist Dan Goodfellow, who in the last 12 months has made the transition to the 3m Springboard, a rare feat in international diving. Having finished fifth alongside Laugher in the synchro the previous night, the Leeds based diver wanted more and he duly delivered in the first semi-final.
Producing an extremely consistent series, something he has lacked since his switch, Goodfellow executed a sublime 91.20 point Front 4 ½ Somersault Tuck (109C) in round five to set him up to advance to the final in the second of three qualifying spots. After another strong dive in the final round he ended the competition with a total of 475.25 points, a lifetime best score.
Of his performance, Goodfellow said:
“I was disappointed with how I did in the synchro last night, so it was hard to come back to the pool the next morning and produce a good performance, so I’m really pleased with that. I didn’t do anything amazing but I didn’t drop any dives, which is key in a prelim. I think it was actually a PB for me, which shows just how much more I can do, as I wouldn’t say that was anywhere what I can dive like, so hopefully in the final I will step it up.
“The transition to the springboard has been really difficult and I actually thought it would be easier than it is! It’s particularly difficult when you’re put in a synchro partnership with Jack, which is an amazing opportunity and I wouldn’t have turned it down for the world, but he does make it hard given how high he jumps!”
Not to be outdone by his teammate, Olympic champion Laugher led from start to finish to advance to the final with the highest score of any of the Men’s 3m Springboard divers. The pick of his series was a fourth round Forward 2 ½ Somersault 3 Twist Pike (5156B), which boasts an astonishing 3.9 degrees of difficulty, scoring an incredible 99.45 points.
Laugher ended the competition with a huge 530.80 points, setting him up nicely for this evening. Afterwards he commented:
“I’m really happy with that performance and every dive was really good for me and there’s way more in the tank for later. The atmosphere was great so I really enjoyed myself out there. I love the fact that everyone in the crowd is getting behind everyone – at some World Series they only support the home team, so I’m really grateful to everyone who has come down.”
Robyn Birch was in fine form in the opening semi-final of the Women’s 10m Platform, the first event on day two inside the London Aquatics Centre. An almost perfect start, scoring 72.00 with her opening dive, set the ball rolling and she didn’t look back. Occupying a top three qualifying spot throughout, Birch nailed her final round Back 2 ½ Somersault 1 ½ Twist Pike (5253B) to bag 72.00 and qualify for the final in second place.
In fact so good was Birch’s performance that her points total of 332.70 was the second best of her career, ensuring she comfortably qualified second from her semi-final, only headed by Rin Kaneto of Japan who amassed 339.20 points.
An extremely pleased Birch said:
“I was pretty nervous going into it but the fact that it was in front of a home crowd and it was in my home pool, I definitely think that had a positive effect on my performance. I think this shows all the hard work I’ve put in over the last few months and being able to do well in my home pool, in only my second ever World Series, is great.”
Going in the second semi-final was Great Britain’s Lois Toulson and she faced an incredibly tough line-up, which contained two divers from China and two divers from the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea. The young Brit put up a great fight with an incredibly consistent series, all five of her efforts scoring between 60.80 and 67.50 to give her a total of 329.00 points, however that was unfortunately only enough for fourth, with only the top three advancing to the final. In fact the top qualifiers for tonight’s final all came from that second semi-final, with Yuxi Chen, Rae Mi Kim and Minjie Zhang all scoring over 360 points, China’s Chen a whopping 395.60.
The action resumes at 17:00, with Olympic champion Jack Laugher MBE in action again in the individual 3m springboard final.
Full results from across the weekend can be found by clicking here.
Tickets for all sessions are available on the door throughout the weekend – please note tickets are no longer available online.
For more details about the London leg of the of the FINA/CNSG Diving World Series 2019 click here to visit our event hub.