Olympic legacy: No springboard to success for Chris Mears and Jack Laugher


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The Independent Online

There will be no British representation in the men’s one-metre springboard final at the World Championships after Chris Mears and Jack Laugher failed to progress here yesterday.

Mears was only 16.45 points outside the top-12 cut-off and can point to a number of dropped points, especially with his fourth dive. Laugher was 43rd following the opening round and clawed his way back to 19th, so for both divers it was a case of “what if” – although they both still have the three-metre event to come.

Mears, who four times came close to death following a ruptured spleen in 2009, was in contention for a final place having placed 16th after the first round with a smooth two-and-a-half somersault piked.

The 20-year-old dropped to 28th in the second round but at halfway was just five places off qualification.

However, a poorly executed reverse with one-and-a-half somersaults and one-a-half-twists saw him drop to 25th, and with only 12 making it through from a 43-strong field, there was a need for consistency. The Southampton diver was 18th entering the final round and although he gave his last effort, a forward three-and-a-half somersault tucked, absolutely everything, he had left himself too much to do.

Mears eventually finished 16th, four off the qualification spots, but two below the 2011 worlds in Shanghai. Laugher, a triple world junior champion in the 1m, 3m and 3m synchro with Tom Daley, ended up in 19th place with 327.20pts.

Jamaica’s only diver, Leeds-based Yona Knight-Wisdom who is sponsored by Levi Roots of Reggae Reggae Sauce fame, was 23rd.

China’s Wu Minxia and Shi Tingmao won the first diving gold medal at the event, earning Wu a record sixth world title in the women’s three-meter synchronized springboard.

Tunisia’s Oussama Mellouli became the first swimmer to win Olympic and world titles in both the pool and open water when he sprinted to a narrow victory in the 5km event at the championships.

“I didn’t expect to win the 5km,” Mellouli said afterwards, adding that he had planned to take a year off after last year’s London Olympics, when he won the marathon (10km) and took bronze in the 1,500 metres freestyle.

“I did take six months off and got back into training. To be on top of the world is quite exciting for me.”