GLASGOW (Reuters) - Britain’s divers enjoyed a triumphant day at the European Championships on Tuesday with Olympic champion Jack Laugher leading a double success at Edinburgh’s Royal Commonwealth Pool.
Laugher again demonstrated why he is the most successful British diver in history as he took their first European gold in the one metre springboard event while never having to produce anything like his best.
His predictable win followed a rather less expected victory for the new British pairing of Lois Toulson and 15-year-old Eden Cheng, who took the synchronised 10m platform title in dramatic fashion.
In only their second competition together, the pair had been lying fifth with two rounds left only to produce two magnificent dives to shoot into the gold medal position as their opponents faltered.
Another 15-year-old, Ekaterina Beliaeva and Iuliia Timoshinina of Russia had been in pole position but made a hash of their final effort and ended with silver on 288.60 points to the Britons’ 289.74.
“I definitely wasn’t expecting this, we’ve only been put together this year so we’re both really happy,” said Toulson, a relative veteran at 18 compared to Cheng, who was striking gold at the equivalent junior event this time last year.
“I’m lost for words. Lois kept me going out there,” said Cheng. “I was nervous throughout before and didn’t even know the score until Lois told me we’d won.”
The 23-year-old Laugher, who in 2016 became Britain’s first Olympic diving champion along with his 3m springboard synchro partner Chris Mears in Rio de Janeiro, dominated his competition without having to extend himself.
“With two more events to go for me, it’s a really good way to kick off the Championships,” Laugher said. “It wasn’t my best performance, not as good as I was in the Commonwealth Games, but I’m really happy to come out on top again.”
His total of 414.60 still put him well clear of Italy’s Giovanni Tocci (401.10) and British team mate James Heatly (391.70), whose bronze was particularly well received by the Edinburgh crowd as he also won a medal for Scotland at the Commonwealth Games earlier this year.
Reporting by Ian Chadband; Editing by Christian Radnedge