Stunning silver for Lee on penultimate night in Poland

27 Jun 2023

Robbie Lee took the silver medal in a dramatic Men's 10m Platform final on the sixth night of diving action at the 2023 European Games, with teammate Ben Cutmore finishing just behind in fourth.

Eighteen-year-old Lee produced a stunning comeback after slight drops in round one and three - which saw him sit in seventh place at the halfway stage – before recording the highest-scoring dive of the entire competition on round four to propel him up the rankings.

His Forward 4 ½ Somersaults Tuck (109C) stole the show in-front of the crowd in Poland – a classy execution and entry giving him 96.20 points and seeing him end the fourth round in second place.

Cutmore only dropped out of the top three on the very final dive after a solid performance in the first five on his list, with his dives never dipping below a score of 70 in that time. His Back 2 ½ Somersaults 2 ½ Twists Pike (5255B) on the fifth round saw - worth a strong 81.00-point haul - saw him leading the way at that stage, with Lee third and Germany's Timo Barthel splitting the Team GB pair. 

It was the final round where the medals were decided, though, as Cutmore unfortunately had an over-rotation on his final dive of Forward 4 ½ Somersaults Tuck (109C) – leaving him to wait for the following divers to see where he would finish.

It was a different story for Lee, who knew that a dive over 66.40 points would guarantee him at least a second-placed finish. His Back 2 1/2 Somersaults 2 1/2 Twists Pike (5255B) did just that – seeing the Southampton Diving Academy competitor earn 68.40 points for his efforts and hand him the provisional gold medal with one diver to go.

Robbie Lee silver medal podium shot European Games 2023

Despite Germany’s Barthel snatching the top step of the podium away from Great Britain right at the death, the final standings saw Robbie taking European silver on his senior debut at this level.

It also rounded off what has been  an impressive event for Ben, who secured a Men's 10m Synchro bronze with Matthew Dixon and came so close to the podium in this contest too. 

As for Robbie, speaking after receiving his medal, he was happy to have secured a silver in what is his first major senior international competition, and gave a bit of insight into how he operates in the midst of competition.

“It’s very special and I’m so happy. It's my first major senior event and to come away with a silver medal is great and knowing I could do a lot more and a lot better is so good as well. I’m very exited for the future," he said.

"I hate knowing anything about the competition (between the rounds) it freaks me out a little bit so I try to block it out. I went over to the toilets and looked at the start list and it said I was like 11th and I was like ‘oh no’ - but I’d looked at the wrong thing! I tried my best and I was happy when I realised and happy I brought it back.”

Earlier in the day, the Women’s 10m Synchro event was a valuable learning experience for the young British pairing of Maisie Bond and Juliette John, the two teenage athletes seeming to build into the competition over their first three dives, thanks in-part to a solid 53.10-scoring Forward 3 ½ Somersaults Pike (107B) to put them fourth after the third round. 

An unfortunate non-scoring dive on the fourth round took them out of contention after Maisie landed on her front, the City of Sheffield athlete showing brilliant resilience to go again in round five.

The pair both did well to recover from that setback – recording a good score of 62.40 in their Back 2 ½ Somersaults 1 ½ Twists Pike (5253B) on the final round to sign off in eighth place, with 16-year-old Bond and 13-year-old John sure to take great experience from their European Games debut.

Full results from the European Games 2023 can be found here.