British divers secure gold-silver double on day one in Doha

2 Feb 2024

Britain's divers got the World Aquatics Championships off to a perfect start as they claimed Mixed Team gold and secured the first world title of Doha 2024 - before Grace Reid delivered a superb 1m Springboard silver to round out day one in Qatar.

The quartet of Tom Daley, Scarlett Mew Jensen, Dan Goodfellow and Andrea Spendolini-Sirieix combined in great fashion in a unique competition format that sees each diver complete one individual dive, on top of one mixed 3m and one mixed 10m synchro dive across the group.

Scarlett and Dan delivered on their individual dives from the 3m board, putting GB third after that round - before Scarlett stepped up with Tom for the 3m synchro, the pair nailing their Forward 3 1/2 Somersaults Pike (107B) for a round-high score of 72.85.

That put Britain to the top of the rankings in the midst of a close tussle with Mexico. Andrea's armstand dive scored 75.20, but it was her closing platform synchro dive with Tom - an Inward 3 1/2 Somersaults Tuck (407C) - that proved crucial, that 76.80 tally for a pair of brilliant entries leaving the team on 421.65, and ensuring even a fine finish from the Mexican platform pair of Randal Willars Valdez and Gabriela Agundez Garcia would not be enough to steal the crown.

It is British Diving's first gold medal at a World Championships since Tom Daley's breath-taking 10m Platform title in 2017 - and Tom himself sees it as one sign of the unprecedented quality across the team in 2024, as he reacted to his first international competition since the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games.

"I was so nervous doing my first dive in international competition for two-and-a-half years - and it was on springboard, doing a hurdle step, I was so terrified! But it feels good to be back out there and competing again, and to do it alongside this team has just been amazing," he said.

"The strength of British Diving at the moment is absolutely incredible, the depth that we have in the sport is like it's never been. Andy [Andrea] up on 10m is doing incredible things, Scarlett down on the springboard is doing awesome things, and Dan has already qualified his Olympic spot, so he's come here to do one dive and he's world champion!"

Grace Reid 1m Springboard SILVER Doha 2024
Grace Reid secured her first individual World Championship medal

Spendolini-Sirieix added: "I'm always honoured to dive alongside these guys. I looked up to Tom my whole diving career, so to be able to dive alongside him is just incredible, I've learned a lot even from training so he's helped me a lot already. I really enjoyed that out there."

For Goodfellow, it was a mix of class and composure that saw them to the title. 

"We look at individually what we can do, we are all great divers and I think, when we put together all the dives we know we can do, I don't think there's anyone in the world who can touch us," he said.

"Again, it was just about keeping our composure as well. A competition of that length, even though it's not the longest of comps, it can sometimes be hard to stay warm, stay ready for your dives. We knew going into it that a gold medal was possible, and luckily we were able to do the dives the way we knew we could." 

The Hamad Aquatic Centre would see another Union flag hoisted into the air before the evening was out, as two-time Olympian Reid claimed the first individual World Championship medal of her career with silver in the Women's 1m Springboard.

In a closely-contested final, Grace produced some solid dives to keep herself in contention throughout - although sitting sixth with only one round to go, the chance of a podium finish looked increasingly unlikely. 

Not so. The Dive London athlete's Forward 2 1/2 Somersaults Pike (105B) scored 7.5s for a 58.50, shooting her up the standings and leaving her on 257.25 overall. While Australia's Alysha Koloi climbed to the summit for gold, Grace's closing effort ensured no other remaining diver leapfrogged her, meaning it was a silver to add to a pair of Mixed 3m Synchro silvers from 2017 and 2022.

"It feels a bit surreal at the moment, but I'm honestly just delighted. It's been a bit of a battle the last couple of years, so to be holding this hardware is testament to the amount of work that I've had to put in, and the team behind me, Team Grace - I can't thank them enough," she said.

"That's why I wanted to do this event ahead of the 3m, to get my rhythm, get my routines, figure out the nuances for 3m - that's obviously the main focus for this week. So I'm excited and I think this is a sign of things to come, I'm really looking forward to the rest of the competition."

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