Laugher lays down big final dive for silver

12 May 2021

Jack Laugher made it two silver medals in as many days for Britain's divers as a brilliant final dive secured him second in the Men's 1m Springboard on day three at the European Aquatics Championships in Budapest.

The main focus for Olympic champion Laugher at the Duna Arena will be on the Men's 3m Springboard and 3m Synchro events in which he will be targeting success in Tokyo later this year.

But that did not prevent him from taking to the podium in the 1m contest, finishing behind Germany's Patrick Hausding and ahead of Giovanni Tocci of Italy, thanks in part to a nerveless display in round six.

While the City of Leeds man was always in top-three contention, he found himself in the bronze position after five rounds as he prepared to perform a Forward 2 1/2 Somersaults 1 Twist Pike (5152B) - the toughest dive on his list.

Laugher's attempt was exactly what he needed it to be, scoring 76.80 from the judges to nudge a mere 0.40 points ahead of Tocci for the silver with an overall total of 402.90 - 24 hours after Andrea Spendolini-Sirieix and Noah Williams got the GB tally ticking in the Mixed 10m Synchro.

"At the end, my score isn't so great but I am happy with the medal. For me, it was important to get a feel of the Championships and to get used to competing again. I am more than happy to share the podium with champions like Patrick and Giovanni and content with the silver medal," said Jack.

The 26-year-old will now team up with clubmate Daniel Goodfellow for the 3m Synchro showpiece on Thursday evening.

Kate Shortman has been one of the busiest British athletes of these Championships so far - but there was no sign of the artistic swimming schedule slowing the Bristol-based athlete down as she put in a composed performance in the Free Solo final to place sixth.

Kate Shortman European Champs 2021 Solo Free final [DeepBlueMediaLEN]
Kate Shortman placed an impressive sixth in the Free Solo final

Performing a new routine created for the European stage, Shortman earned 86.0000 points from the judges, an improvement on the 85.2333 from the preliminaries to ensure she sat at the top of the leaderboard during the opening stages of the finale.

The result was also a better one than Shortman secured at the 2019 World Championships - and now she is hoping to carry that momentum into the duet events with Isabelle Thorpe.

"After so long without international competitions, it was amazing to get back out there and show a new routine," said Kate. 

"I knew there were improvements to make ahead of the final, and the fact it was reflected in the score and overall placing was a great feeling. We can't wait to carry forward the same energy and determination into the duets!"

Ahead of her return to the pool with Shortman in Thursday's Tech Duet contest, Thorpe added: "For the Free Duet, we are really pleased with our preliminary swim but we're eager to get a higher score in the final. Despite the technical complication with the first Tech Duet, we are going to come back stronger and show everyone how much we have improved since last year." 

In the Tech Team event, meanwhile, an up-and-coming British group placed seventh, thanks to a points score of 79.0943 for their dynamic, NBA-themed routine. After a truncated training period in the lead up, this was a promising platform on which a young team can build. They will go again in the Free Team contest on Friday.

In the Mixed 3m Synchro on the diving programme, Ross Haslam and Yasmin Harper's third event of the week saw them place fifth. 

The Sheffield Diving Club duo were in medal contention after three solid rounds, tying for dive of the round with their Inward Dive Tuck (401B), before the top three ultimately pulled clear with their final two dives. 

Follow all the action from the European Aquatics Championships HERE, with live coverage of Thursday's diving finals shown on BBC Sport HERE.

Lead picture from AFP/Getty Images; second image from Deep Blue Media/LEN.