Mental edge gives Laugher physical advantage

Jack Laugher: Won gold at the latest round of the World Series in Canada.
Jack Laugher: Won gold at the latest round of the World Series in Canada.
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World Cup bronze medallist Jack Laugher won a battle of wills to strike gold in the 3m springboard event at the FINA Diving World Series in Windsor, Canada, on Saturday.

Harrogate’s Laugher, who trains at the City of Leeds club, won a nip and tuck battle with China’s He Chao thanks to a nerveless final dive.

Laugher led after two rounds but Chao moved ahead in the fourth round after scoring almost 100 points for back 3.5 somersaults tucked.

It came down to who could hold their nerve in the sixth and final dive for both Laugher and Chao, and it was the Brit who came out victorious.

Laugher, 20 – who won two Commonwealth Games gold medals last year and a bronze against an elite field in the World Cup in Shanghai – scored 86.40 for his back 3.5 somersaults to finish with 526.30 points.

Chao could not handle the pressure the Yorkshireman applied and dropped his front 3.5 somersaults one twist piked for 66.60 points and a final score of 521.65.

In the mixed 3m synchro, the new pairing of Olympic bronze medallist Tom Daley and Commonwealth women’s synchro champion Alicia Blagg, also of the City of Leeds club, won bronze in their first competitive outing together.

The pair have not had much time training together ahead of the competition but were in a medal position throughout.

Daley and Wakefield’s Blagg, 18 won bronze with a score of 296.31.

“We’re really happy with how it went out there today,” said Wakefield-born Blagg.

“Given that we’ve not really trained much together it was a really good performance.”

Blagg also teamed up with fellow City of Leeds diver Rebecca Gallantree, 30, to place fifth in the women’s 3m synchro.

Tonia Couch and former Leeds diver Sarah Barrow secured 
silver in the 10-metre synchro on the opening day of competition 
at the World Series event in Ontario.

The pair put in one of their most consistent performances of the season and scored a total of 325.92 to take their silver medal.