Junior divers finish second in Europe

1 Jul 2019

Great Britain’s junior divers have finished second on the medal table at the European Junior Diving Championships after an incredible 11 medal haul in Kazan, Russia.

At the halfway point the team had already won five medals, but added a further six to finish the championship second ranked in Europe, with every single female on the team returning home with a medal.

Following in the footsteps of Andrea Spendolini-Sirieix and Emily Martin who clinched the Girls A 10m Synchro European title on Wednesday, Desharne Bent-Ashmeil showed maturity beyond her years to strike gold in the Girls B 1m Springboard final with a measured performance.

Delivering a wonderfully consistent series throughout the prelims and the final, Bent-Ashmeil racked up a total of 149.50 to win by 11 points, with teammate Richelle Houlden-Mpofu securing the final podium spot, just 0.05 points shy of Russia’s silver medallist Viktoriia Prosekova.

In fact Thursday proved to be a thrilling night for the British team in action inside Kazan’s Aquatics Palace, with Plymouth’s Euan McCabe snatching silver in the Boys B 10m final, Milo French also putting in a strong series for fourth. McCabe however enjoyed a brilliant battle with Ukraine’s Oleksii Sereda only the last dive seeing the points gap slip to 11.20, none-the-less a great display of diving.

Oliver Crompton also delivered a majestic performance in the Boys A 3m Springboard final to step onto the second step of the podium with a massive 528.55 score. Chasing Russian Grigory Ivanov throughout, Crompton kept the pressure on the home favourite, especially thanks to a 69.75 point Forward 3 ½ Somersault Pike (107B) in the penultimate round, but he couldn’t quite overhaul his rival.

In the Boys 10m Synchro final Edinburgh’s Lucas Thomson and Dive London’s Ben Cutmore combined once more to bag bronze after a mixed series of dives. Lacking the consistency of some of their rivals, the duo delivered two huge efforts in rounds three and five, a Reverse 3 ½ Somersault Tuck (407C) in round three good for 72.96 points helping them on their way to bronze.

Saturday night saw Chloe Johnson win the team’s final medal of the championship, the youngster winning bronze in the Girls B 10m final with an impressive 297.85 point tally behind a high quality Russian one-two. Andrea Spendolini-Sirieix also finished fourth just three points back, the duo both aiming for the podium having racked up high scores to finish second and third in the preliminary round.

Also in action on the penultimate evening of competition, Oliver Crompton and Aiden Heslop just missed out on a medal in a very tight battle in the Boys A 3m Synchro, second to sixth separated by just seven points; the British duo eventually had to settle for fourth. The final night saw Heslop suffer a similar fate, as despite a great performance he finished fourth in the Boys A 10m final, with teammate Lucas Thomson fifth.

Earlier in the week Great Britain won silver in the Mixed Jump team event, Bent-Ashmeil, Spendolini-Sirieix, Crompton and Cameron Gammage combining well, whilst Maria Papworth and Scarlett Mew Jensen also won silver in the Girls A 3m Synchro and Callie Eaglestone claimed bronze in the Girls B 3m Springboard.

Progressing through the ranks, silver medallist Scarlett Mew Jensen has now travelled on to South Korea to link up with the GB senior team ahead of the FINA Aquatics World Championships, which get underway on Friday 12 July.

Full results can be found here