Laugher enjoying silver lining in spite of his costly mistake

Harrogate's Jack Laugher on his way to a silver medal in the 3m springboard.
Harrogate's Jack Laugher on his way to a silver medal in the 3m springboard.
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HARROGATE’S Jack Laugher blew the chance to land his second Commonwealth gold in as many days after he was forced to accept silver in the men’s 3m springboard final.

The 19-year-old, who topped the podium on Wednesday night when he claimed the 1m title at the Royal Commonwealth Pool in Edinburgh, held a 13-point advantage heading into the last two dives.

But the City of Leeds diver made a complete mess of his fifth dive, a forward four-and-a-half somersault, to gift the win to Ooi Tze Liang of Malayasia.

The former world champion missed out on the springboard double after his final score of 449.70 left him 7.90 points behind Liang, while the bronze went to his team-mate Oliver Dingley, also from Harrogate.

But Laugher – who still has the 3m synchronised pairs final with partner Chris Mears to look forward to today – refused to get too downbeat.

He said: “It hurts a bit, but if you had told me four years ago I’d end up with a gold and a silver medal at a Commonwealth Games I would have said you were lying.

“The guy who came first made some storming dives, whereas I made some mistakes.

“But a silver medal is still pretty special.

“Now I’ve got the synchro final with Chris and I’m really excited about that.”

Laugher was the last man to dive but put on a show of intent as his spectacular forward two-and-a-half somersault with a couple of twists impressed the judges, earning an opening score of 88.40.

An 84.00 for his reverse three-and-a-half somersault with another two twists opened up a 22-point lead on Malayasia’s Ooi Tze Liang.

But the Asian Championships silver medallist turned the heat up on the leader when he scored an 84.00 with his third attempt.

Laugher could only respond with a 71.40 after his next dive failed to match his earlier high standard, but, despite pushing his lead back up to 14 points ahead with his fourth dive, calamity was about to strike.

Attempting a move with a difficulty rating of 3.8 – the toughest dive in his repertoire – the teenager’s legs fell forward before impact with water and the judges showed their disappointment by scoring him just 47.50.

That left him trailing by almost 11 points with his last dive and, despite pulling off a better score than Liang, it was not enough for victory.

Dingley, meanwhile, performed admirably himself as he fought back from seventh place after two dives to claim the bronze.

He finished with a total of 425.20 for his six dives.

In cycling, England’s Alex Dowsett won a brilliant gold in the men’s road time trial.

Dowsett, silver medallist four years ago in Delhi, came from behind to complete the 38.4km route, which began and finished at Glasgow Green, in 47 minutes and 41.78 seconds.

Australia’s Rohan Dennis, who had led for much of the race, was second in 47mins 51.08secs, and Wales’ Geraint Thomas was third in 47:55.82.

Scotland’s David Millar, the defending champion, was eighth in 49:56.23.

England’s Emma Pooley, who is to retire after Sunday’s road race, was second in the 29.6km women’s event, six seconds behind winner Linda Villumsen of New Zealand, who clocked 42:25.46.

In gymnastics, Scotland’s Dan Keatings put his London 2012 heartbreak behind him by winning gold on the pommel horse and Max Whitlock completed a Games hat-trick of gold medals in the men’s floor event as the home nations excelled again at Glasgow’s SSE Hydro.

Keatings produced a stunning routine in front of his home crowd to score 16.058 and see off the challenge of the returning Englishman Louis Smith and triple Commonwealth gold medal winner Whitlock.

The highly-anticipated final had been billed as a showdown between Olympic silver medallist and comeback king Smith, England and Great Britain’s brightest new all-around star Whitlock and Scotland’s Keatings.

Whitlock had to settle for the silver medal with a score of 15.966, while Smith took away bronze in his first major competition since London 2012 with a mark of 14.966.

In athletics, Eilidh Child was unable to give Hampden Park the athletics victory it craved above all others, but still claimed silver in the 400m hurdles.

The poster girl of Glasgow 2014 was beaten to the title by Jamaican favourite Kaliese Spencer, who comfortably won in 54.10 seconds with Child clocking 55.02.