Kyle and Noah contribute to incredible World Champs diving finale

22 Jul 2023

Noah Williams and Kyle Kothari played their parts in a sensational Men's 10m Platform final at the World Championships in Fukuoka, finishing fourth and fifth in the world respectively.

The traditional closer for the Worlds diving programme delivered its usual drama and top-class performances, with both of the British divers in the final - who had already qualified the two Olympic quota spots for this event in reaching the top 12 - more than contributing to that. 

On his World Championship debut, Kyle remained cemented in the top four for the first five dives thanks to an unerringly consistent list of dives. A pair of 81.60-point scores for his opening two dives were then topped in round four, the London British Diving Performance Centre competitor earning 85.80 for a rip entry on his Back 3 1/2 Somersaults Tuck (207C). 

There was better still to come, 8.5s to score on his Forward 4 1/2 Somersaults Tuck (109C) scoring a massive 94.35 points and lifting him to second with only the final round to come. A memorable medal on his global debut ultimately just eluded Kothari, though, with a slight drop on his final dive seeing him end on 497.35 points and slipping out of the top three at the last.

Still, it was an eye-catching first appearance on the world stage for Kyle, nine years on from him winning bronze at the World Junior Championships, even if it ended in agonising fashion.

"There was a lot of stuff to be happy about, three steady lists and an international PB in the final. But to have the bronze in my hand in the last round and, possibly if I hit my last dive, silver at a push, to finish fifth by six points, that was pretty tough," he reflected.

"It has been a big journey coming back from my injuries. There was a lot of emotion going into that last dive, thinking about the path I've been on, losing my coach and having to work so hard to get to this point, so for it not to come off with that final dive, it was painful. 

"It's nice to know that, on my day, I can be around the medals. I went into this competition thinking that if I get to a final, put in a solid performance, finish midway in the pack, I'd take that. The focus now turns to next year and trying to do that again."

As for Noah, the 2022 World Championship medallist in the Men's 10m Synchro kept himself in contention throughout the final, staying fifth for four successive rounds thanks to consistent scores and steady, well-performed dives.

Knowing it required a big finish to threaten the podium, the 23-year-old duly responded, ripping his final dive in Fukuoka - a Forward 4 1/2 Somersaults Tuck (109C) - to earn a huge 99.90 points and end on 499.10, enough for fourth and within five points of China's Yang Hao in third. Compatriot Lian Junjie took silver, with Australia's Cassiel Rousseau crowned champion. 

Noah Williams somersault Men's 10m Platform final Fukuoka 2023
Noah Williams

"It's good to be competing for medals instead of just in the final and just hanging about in the midfield, so I'm happy I was able to stay up there and stay close to them," said Noah.

"Before the last dive, I was quite a way off the medals so I had to do a pretty good dive to even get close, so I'm happy with how it ended up.

"We go again in two weeks in Berlin against pretty much the same people, so I can see how I fare against them there. It was really impressive from Kyle, what he did today at his first World Championships, and I think even though I was closer in the end result, he was for sure closer to a medal than I was, so I was really proud of him."

At the end of the diving programme, British Diving finished with three medals and eight Olympic quota spots qualified - nine including the place qualified by Eden Cheng in winning the Women's 10m Platform at the European Games. 

Lois Toulson and Andrea Spendolini-Sirieix made history in claiming Women's 10m Synchro silver, winning the first medal in a women's event for Britain at a World Championships, before Yasmin Harper and Scarlett Mew Jensen repeated that feat with Women's 3m Synchro silver the following day.

The medal account was opened up by Jack Laugher and Anthony Harding, the ever-reliable and world-class pairing repeating the result that they achieved at last year's Worlds in Budapest with another strong display.

For the full results from Fukuoka, visit the links on our 'What's On?' page.