Marvellous medal rush for divers at European Juniors

22 Jul 2022

The next generation of British Diving talent has been setting the boards alight at the European Junior Championships in Bucharest, with seven medals won across the first four days of competition - including a pair of golds. 

Jordan Fisher-Eames claimed a stunning European Junior title in the Boys B Platform event, following on from a fantastic Boys A/B Platform Synchro triumph from Robbie Lee and Euan McCabe earlier in the meet. 

Lee and McCabe showed their quality and composure to win their gold with a clutch final dive. Having led after the two required dives and their first optional - an Inward 3 1/2 Somersaults Tuck (407C) worth 56.64 - they were pegged back by Francesco Casalini and Tommaso Zanella at the end of round four, with the Italian duo moving on to 202.68, ahead of Lee and McCabe's 198.54.

But the British synchro pair were not to be denied, as a superb Back 2 1/2 Somersaults 1 1/2 Twists Pike (5253B) saw the judges reward them with 67.20. That was the highest individual score of the whole competition, moving them past Casalini and Zanella to the top step of the podium for a fine European Junior title. 

The very first GB medal at the Otopeni Olympic Swimming Complex came on day one, as Maya Kutty (Southampton Diving Academy), Oscar Kane (Luton Diving Club), Leon Baker (Southampton Diving Academy) and Oscar Willcox (City of Sheffield) teamed up for a special silver in the Jump Event, thanks to an overall score of 292.90. 

Kane continued the British medal rush in the opening individual final of the competition, as he claimed Boys' B 1m Springboard silver after a solid move-on from prelims to final.

The Luton Diving Club competitor delivered a brilliant third-round Reverse 1 1/2 Somersaults 1 1/2 Twists Free (5333D) worth 57.20 on his way to an overall tally of 379.15. It put him comfortably ahead of Marko Huljev (Croatia), who took bronze with 364.65, with Ukraine's Kyryllo Azarov winning gold on 407.50. Brit Todd Geggus (Southend Diving) finished ninth on 343.45. 

In the Girls A/B Platform Synchro final, Chloe Johnson and Hannah Newbrook teamed up to secure silver at the end of a competitive event, with the top step of the podium eluding them by less than two points.

Johnson (City of Leeds Diving Club) and Newbrook (Dive London Aquatics) started as they meant to go, leading after their opening Forward 1 1/2 Somersaults Pike (103B) - worth 45.60 - and remaining within touching distance of the summit across the rounds, responding well to a slight drop in round three before closing on 235.77 overall, earning second place, with Germany's Frieda Dummer and Carolina Coordes winning gold on 237.42. 

That success was followed up by another medal for Johnson, whose tally of 348.15 secured her a bronze medal in the individual Girls A Platform event. Indeed, her score was only 0.10 points off silver and 6.30 shy of silver, thanks in part to a stunning Inward 2 1/2 Somersaults Pike (405B) that scored a competition-high 58.80. Newbrook, meanwhile, finished eighth in the final. 

Chloe Johnson Girls B Platform BRONZE Euro Juniors 2022
Chloe Johnson

The quality and consistency of Britain's young divers has stayed at a high level throughout the first half of the competition - and that emphatically continued on day four. 

Headlining Thursday's performances was Luton Diving Club's Jordan Fisher-Eames, who capped his first major international appearance by claiming the Boys B Platform title in dramatic style.

A brilliant Reverse 2 1/2 Somersaults Tuck (305C) in round two earned him 67.20 points to strengthen his hopes of the gold - but he was only 0.35 points clear of Italy's Simone Conte heading into the fourth and final round. It showed impressive composure, then, for Fisher-Eames to deliver a solid Inward 2 1/2 Somersaults Tuck (405C) to close on 396.35 overall, remarkably staying that 0.35 points clear of Conte to secure the victory.

Jordan's place on the podium was then followed up by a silver-medal display by Leon Baker (Southampton Diving Academy) and Hugo Thomas (Dive London Aquatics) in the Boys A/B 3m Synchro final. Some solid requireds in rounds one and two set them on the way to a final total of 280.32 

In the Men's 1m Springboard finale, Baker finished one place off the podium in fourth, with Danny Mabbott (Edinburgh Diving Club) further back in seventh. 

For the full results from Bucharest, click here.

Images courtesy of LEN/Laszlo Balogh/Total-Waterpolo