Spendolini-Sirieix soars to brilliant Worlds bronze

5 Feb 2024

Andrea Spendolini-Sirieix produced one of the standout performances of her young diving career to claim a historic Women's 10m Platform bronze on day four of the World Aquatics Championships in Doha. 

Fresh from playing her part in the Mixed Team event gold on the opening night, Andrea - along with teammate and synchro partner Lois Toulson - navigated a marathon prelims session on Sunday and then made her way through the semi-final with a solid display.

But the European and Commonwealth champion stepped things up in her maiden Worlds final, laying a solid foundation with dive one and then nailing her second-round Inward 3 1/2 Somersaults Tuck (307C) for 81.60 points. 

Amazingly, Andrea sat in third position from her first dive to the very end, showing brilliant composure in the face of competition from Kim Mi Rae of the Democratic People's Republic of Korea, with the Chinese duo of Quan Hongchan and Chen Yuxi out in front. 

Knowing a bronze medal was hers to lose in the final round, the 19-year-old pulled out a show-stopping closing Back 2 1/2 Somersaults 1 1/2 Twists Pike (5253B) to score 8.5s and nines and finish on 377.10 points. It ensured the bronze - and after Grace Reid made history by becoming the first British woman to win an individual World Championship medal with 1m Springboard silver on Friday, Andrea's success was the first such result in an Olympic event.

"It's been a long wait. At my first World Championships in Budapest in 2022, I didn't even make the semi-finals, and then last year, I didn't make the final," said Spendolini-Sirieix, reflecting on the result.

"So to be able to make the final and also on to the medal table, it's incredible. By the grace of God, I am so happy, it is amazing! 

"I made sure I was aware of the scores. I tried to enjoy it a lot more than I did in the semis - in the semis, I was so nervous because I wanted to make it to the final.

Lois Toulson pike Women's 10m Platform semis Doha 2024 branding
Lois Toulson

"But me and Alex [coach Alex Rochas] decided we just needed to enjoy ourselves, and it was so fun! I did know where I was [in the standings], and it was just about keeping cool, not getting ahead of myself, humbling myself and remembering I still had more rounds to go - but it turned out well!" 

Behind her, Lois built on an 11th-placed ranking in the semi-final to turn out a more consistent display. Her first four dive scores were all in the 60-point zone, before a closing Back 2 1/2 Somersaults 1 1/2 Twists (5253B) worth 70.40 moved her on to 321.60 points, good enough for sixth position in the world - the two-time Olympian having placed fifth in the same event last summer in Fukuoka and again showing her top-class standing against the world's best.

"I definitely feel better after the final, doing the dives a bit better and like I know I can," said Toulson.

"I was only up on 10m for one week before coming out here to Worlds, because I've had a bit of a thumb injury, so I can't be too hard on myself. Sixth in the world after two hard days, I am proud."

Lois and Andrea will team up tomorrow (Tuesday 6th February) in the Women's 10m Synchro final, an event that brought them a historic silver medal at the previous World Championships.

Previously in synchro action, Jack Laugher and Anthony Harding contested a mammoth 27-pair Men's 3m Synchro final on Sunday. Having already qualified an Olympic spot and won silver medals at the last two World Championships, Jack and Anthony ultimately placed fifth this time around.

They sat second at the halfway stage after strong requireds and scoring nearly 80 points for their first optional - but they could not quite replicate that quality across a final of unprecedented duration. 

Jack is back in action again in the Men's 3m Springboard, when he and Ross Haslam will look to secure Britain's second Olympic quota spot, after Dan Goodfellow rubberstamped the first last year.

Jack Laugher Anthony Harding required dive 3m Synchro Doha 2024
Jack Laugher (left) and Anthony Harding perform a dive during the Men's 3m Synchro final