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British divers make splash in Edinburgh as syncro pairs grab medals at World Series

"Rudy Highsmith" (2020-03-30)

British divers make splash in Edinburgh as syncro pairs grab medals at World Series

3 years agoBy Matt Somerford, Press Association

Published: 23:13 GMT, 19 April 2013 | Updated: 23:13 GMT, 19 April 2013



Great Britain underlined their growing depth as they claimed two medals on the opening day of the Diving World Series in Edinburgh.

Reunited pairing Becky Gallantree and Alicia Blagg's dream season continued with silver in the women's springboard synchro before Chris Mears and Nick Robinson-Baker won bronze in the men's event.

While the Chinese expectedly dominated, winning three of the four golds on offer, Team GB will head into the weekend third on the medal table.

Proud: Rebecca Gallantree and Alicia Blagg with their silver medals

And with headline act Tom Daley and junior world champion Jack Laugher still to dive this weekend there is a real prospect of more medals to follow.

'It's been a great day for Great Britain,' Mears said.

'Hopefully we can get some more medals. We are chuffed to bits with it.'

Leeds-based pairing Blagg and Gallantree stole the spotlight as they continued to prosper after they were handed a second chance to dive together on the eve of the World Series.

British Diving chief Alexei Evangulov had terminated their partnership in the winter after their seventh placing at the Olympics.

They had also not won a single major international medal before this season but their fortunes have changed dramatically after replacment Hannah Starling - who was due to partner fellow teenager Blagg with an eye on Rio 2016 - suffered an early-season injury.

Silver at last month's opening leg in Beijing followed - the first British women's springboard medal at a World Series - and today's success was comfortably achieved with a score of 305.28.

Tumbling: Alicia Blagg and Rebecca Gallantree helped Britain off to a flying start

'It was a big shock in Beijing and it's still a big shock now,' said Blagg, who at 16 is 12 years her partner's junior.

'We weren't even expected to do synchros (before the World Series).

'I don't really know what has happened.

'Before Beijing Hannah wasn't really ready so Becky and syncsol electrical I decided to do World Series and now here we are.

'I'm happy, really buzzing.'

Two-time Olympian Gallantree, who is enjoying the most prolific spell of her decade-long career, believes there could be even more to come ahead of this summer's World Championships.

'This is the best we have dived together,' she said.

'Obviously we got a medal last month in Beijing so we knew it was possible.

'We know we can do even more. It was seven points short of our previous best.

'We have changed our list with the extra degree of difficulty at the end - that's working for us.'

Mears and Robinson-Baker failed to reach the podium at the opening two legs of the series and saved their best for last today to snatch a bronze.

In sync: Christopher Mears and Nick Robinson-Baker also won a medal in Edinburgh

After standing in fourth place for the entire competition they stole ahead of the United States by just 0.45 points with their final inward three-and-a-half-somersaults dive.

'To walk out of here with a bronze medal on home turf, we are ecstatic,' Robinson-Baker said.

'The season started off steady but now that it is moving on we are going to try and start picking up those medals.

'Getting that medal gives you the hunger to go out and get some more. It's the little extra motivation you need.'

Earlier, flu-stricken European champions Tonia Couch and Sarah Barrow narrowly missed out on the podium in the women's platform synchro.

The Plymouth pair were both clearly inhibited by a virus that has laid them low since the start of the week but still managed fourth.

'We fought through our illnesses. We did fine,' Couch said.

'Sarah has been really ill all week and I've pretty much lost my throat. I've got no voice.

'It's not been a great preparation but we've done well considering.'





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