Couch and Toulson miss out on a medal as China triumph again

Britain's Lois Toulson and Tonia Couch compete during the women's synchronized 10m platform diving finalBritain's Lois Toulson and Tonia Couch compete during the women's synchronized 10m platform diving final
Britain's Lois Toulson and Tonia Couch compete during the women's synchronized 10m platform diving final
CHINA won their third gold from three events on the diving programme as Great Britain's Tonia Couch and Lois Toulson finished fifth in the women's synchronised 10 metres platform final.

Tom Daley and Dan Goodfellow won bronze in the corresponding men’s event on Monday, but it was not to be for Couch and City of Leeds partner Toulson, who were plunging into a pool which appeared to turn greener as the final wore on.

Chen Ruolin and Liu Huixia added to China’s dominance of the boards, scoring 354.00 points, while silver went to Cheong Jun-hoong and Pamg Pandelela Rinong of Malaysia with 344.34pts.

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Canada’s Meaghan Benfeito and Roseline Filion took bronze on the final dive, finishing with 336.18.

Couch and 16-year-old Toulson, of Huddersfield, scored 319.44, finishing three points behind the North Korean pair.

Britain have further medal chances in the diving pool. Toulson’s Leeds team-mates Jack Laugher and Chris Mears have a good opportunity in the synchronised three metres springboard final today.

Couch and Toulson, like Daley and Goodfellow, were the last of the eight teams to dive.

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And they were to enter water which was greener than it had been a day earlier.

Indeed, the Maria Lenk Aquatics Centre pool appeared to darken throughout the competition and the bottom became invisible.

The adjacent water polo pool remained the usual colour.

The British pair were fifth after two of the five rounds, with work to do to claim a podium place.

Their forward 3 1/2 somersaults with pike scored well, but it was only after their penultimate dive, a back 2 1/2 somersaults 1 1/2 twists with pike, that they climbed to fourth, five points off bronze.

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Diving last Couch and Toulson knew what they had to do – score more than 80.1 with their inward 3 1/2 somersaults – and were aided by the North Korean pair erring on entry.

Canada piled on the pressure with a well-executed dive and the Britons were unable to deliver.

Reigning Olympic champion Katherine Grainger and Vicky Thornley are safely through to the women’s double sculls final.

Having come out of retirement two years ago, Rio 2016 is the 40-year-old’s fifth Games and one in which she will now compete to retain her title.

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Grainger and Thornley progressed second from their semi-final in six minutes 52.47 seconds, securing a place in Thursday’s final at the stunning Lagoa.

Olympic debutants Alan Sinclair and Stewart Innes also have a final on the horizon after the Inverness-Henley combination finished second in their men’s pair semi-final.

The morning started with Alan Campbell reaching the men’s single sculls semi-finals, finishing second to Croatia’s Damir Martin at the Lagoa.

But there was disappointment for London 2012 gold medallist Katherine Copeland of Stokesley, North Yorkshire, and Charlotte Taylor.

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The lightweight women’s double sculls pair missed out on the main final after finishing third place in the repechage.

Jonathan Walton and John Collins became the latest British rowing finalists after holding onto third in their men’s double sculls semi-final.

There was bad news in the lightweight men’s four, though, as the British crew failed to make the final. A top-three finish was required to progress, but Peter Chambers, Jono Clegg, Mark Aldred and Chris Bartley agonisingly crossed the line in fourth.

William Fox-Pitt bemoaned a lack of luck after Great Britain’s eventers failed to win an Olympic team medal for the first time since the Atlanta Games 20 years ago.

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The British quartet of Fox-Pitt, Pippa Funnell, Kitty King and Gemma Tattersall responded to Monday’s collective cross-country misery that destroyed medal hopes by delivering strong showjumping displays.

“It was really great to finish on a good note after the disappointment of Monday,” said Fox-Pitt.

In the tennis, Andy Murray put his doubles disappointment behind him to move safely through to the third round of the singles with victory over Juan Monaco in Rio.

Argentinian Monaco, ranked 107, appeared to hold few fears for Murray and so it proved as the world number two prevailed 6-3 6-1 after only 69 minutes.

Johanna Konta defeated Caroline Garcia 6-2 6-3.

Geraint Thomas will compete in today’s time trial after a crash-strewn road race led to a spate of withdrawals. Thomas will line-up with Chris Froome, one of the favourites for the event.