Couch equals World best in Kazan

30 Jul 2015

Tonia Couch equalled her best individual finish at a World Championships with an eighth place in the 10m Platform final in Kazan.

The 26-year old, who secured a British quota place for Rio 2016 by reaching the final in Russia, improved on her prelim and semi-final marks to score 340.30 in the final.

North Korea’s 16-year old Kim Kuk Hyang won a surprise gold on 397.05 ahead of China’s 14-year old Ren Qian (388.00) and Malaysia’s Olympic bronze medallist Pandelela Rinong Pamg (385.05).

Couch has had one of her best seasons in the individual 10m Platform, coming into Russia off the back of winning bronze at four of the six World Series legs in 2015.

But the Brit insisted she could have few complaints with her result on the day, finishing as the top European in the field and securing her best individual World Championship ranking since 2009.

"To get in to the final was the important thing here so I could just go out and enjoy the final," said Couch, who finished sixth with Sarah Barrow in the 10m Synchro earlier in the Championships.

"To finish as the top European is great and I'm really pleased - it was close between me and the French girl but I was just able to stay ahead.

"I've had three steady performances here. I was steady to get through the prelims and the semis and then again in the final. I just need to sharpen it up a bit more in the final next time."

Competing at her sixth World Championship, Couch was the most experienced diver in the field and showed a calm head to dive consistently as her rivals faltered around her.

After starting with 68.8 for her opening two dives, Couch improved to score 8s and 8.5s from the judges and 70.5 overall for her forward 3 ½ somersaults piked.

Her best score came for her armstand dive in the fourth round as the Brit added another 72 points to her tally, before she finished with 60.20 for her lowest tariff dive – the reverse 2 ½ somersaults with tuck.