Goodfellow wins diving gold in all-England top three


Hosts: Birmingham Dates: 28 July to 8 August
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Dan Goodfellow won his first individual Commonwealth Games gold to lead an all-England top three in the men’s 3m springboard final.

Jordan Houlden won silver while Jack Laugher – the defending champion in the event – overcame his earlier nerves to take bronze.

There were further medals for England in the women’s synchronised 10m platform final, with Eden Cheng and Andrea Spendolini- Sirieix winning silver, and Robyn Birch and Emily Martin bronze.

Victory brought 25-year-old Goodfellow his first major title, having won Olympic, world and European medals in synchro events. He finished with 484.45 points.

“It’s a great feeling,” he told BBC Sport. “I’ve had a bit of a rough year so to get a result here means everything.

“I’m just over the moon.”

Houlden, 24, finished 19.30 points behind Goodfellow, with Laugher – already a two-time gold medallist at the Birmingham Commonwealths – a further 2.85 back. Scotland’s James Heatly was fourth.

Goodfellow opted to go solo at the start of 2022 after years of synchro success, winning 10m platform gold at the 2018 Games with Tom Daley, and bronze at the Rio 2016 Olympics.

On competing individually, he said: “It’s feels great. I’m really enjoying my diving at the minute and it feels nice to do it on my own.

“I’m really enjoying training by myself and doing the events by myself. All us boys are based up in Yorkshire so we couldn’t ask anything better of a one-two-three of Yorkshire lads.”

More medals for Team England

Cheng and Spendolini-Sirieix left it late to launch themselves into the medals, having looked out of contention until their penultimate dive, which lifted them from sixth to fourth.

But after a calamitous final dive by their Canadian opponents, a window of opportunity opened – and they took their chance.

They scored 76.80 on their final attempt, the highest score awarded in the final, to grasp the silver, finishing 7.14 points behind Australian winners Charli Petrov and Melissa Wu.

It is 17-year-old Spendolini-Sirieix’s second medal of the Games, after she won gold in the individual event.

Birch and Martin, meanwhile, had hovered around third for much of the competition, and looked stunned as they secured a medal on their final dive.

Laugher overcomes nerves

Laugher, 27, had come into this event as the favourite, but blamed his nerves for an off-par performance in the preliminary round on Saturday morning.

There, he scored zero points across the board having performed the wrong dive for his opener, blaming it on his nerves and the pressure he felt.

After the preliminary, Laugher said he planned to sleep and “reset” before the evening’s final. He returned to the Sandwell Aquatics Centre a different diver.

His opening two dives in the final saw him go second in the standings, before an 86.70 point third dive moved him to the top.

But an off-the-mark fifth dive, awarded just 53.20 points, saw him slip down into fourth. He made amends on his final attempt, scoring his highest mark of 87.75 points with the hardest dive on his programme.

“I just reset my day, came back with a more positive attitude and one trying to show off my skills and I think I did that,” he told BBC Sport.

“One mistake that cost me my position but overall, in comparison to this morning, a great performance all round.

“I think if you’re going to lose out on a gold medal or a silver medal then who better to lose it out on than two of your really good friends, close companions, training partner and also Team England as well.”

Laugher won a hat-trick of Commonwealth golds in Australia four years ago, and victory on Saturday would have seen him repeat the feat.

“I can’t be disappointed. It’s two golds and a bronze,” he said.

“I would have liked to have back-to-back wins but it’s diving. It happens so quickly and there have been so many times, like this morning and this afternoon, where great divers have made mistakes and it takes a split second to go wrong and that costs you a medal.

“But I’m really lucky I managed to get on the podium – a good performance overall and I think I can move on and get better.”

Houlden’s silver marked his second medal of the Games, having won 1m springboard bronze behind Laugher earlier in the week.

For someone who was afraid of water as a child, spending two days of a introductory camp building up to even getting into the pool, he now wants to use his Commonwealth medals as a catalyst for bigger things.

“I’m really lost for words now,” he told BBC Sport. “Two Commonwealth medals, it’s a real big achievement for me.

“Coming out here, being my first Commonwealth Games, I feel like I’ve stepped up to the pressure and really given my all.

“Standing between two Olympic medallists – it’s quite the team. It’s sensational. Big dreams and hopefully I can get to the Olympics and be with these two guys.”

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