Jay-Z and Olympic call will make Blagg’s year

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Four Yorkshire divers took a significant step towards Olympic qualification on day one of the the British Championships and trials in Sheffield.

Alicia Blagg, 15, of Wakefield, and her 3m springboard partner Rebecca Gallantree (City of Leeds) won the national title and are now just a phone call from the selectors away from competing at London 2012.

Blagg was the youngest of the British athletes to win on yesterday’s opening day and admitted she could not wait to find out whether she has done enough to reach a first Olympics.

“It will be nerve-wracking, the wait,” she said. “On Monday I’m also going to see Jay-Z and Kanye West. If we do find out, and it all goes well, then it will probably be the best day of my life.”

Newly-crowned European platform synchro champions Tonia Couch and her City of Leeds partner Sarah Barrow were unopposed as they also set a British record and personal best.

“It was a little bit crazy because it felt like all eyes were on you,” said Couch, after their 327.18 beat their previous best set last month when they won the European crown in Eindhoven.

“But with the personal best, everything is going to plan. We are working really hard.

“It wasn’t the best we can do. It could have been 330 or above.”

In the springboard men’s duo, Chris Mears and City of Sheffield’s Nick Robinson-Baker claimed a third consecutive British crown.

Robinson-Baker, 24, is set to go to his second Olympics.

He said: “We’re 95 per cent sure that we are going to be going, judging by that performance.

“We went for it (yesterday) and had a cracker. Hopefully we can go to the Olympic final and smash it.”

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