Leeds divers Laugher and Mears earn historic bronze for GB

City of Leeds Diving Club's Chris Mears, left, and Jack Laugher
City of Leeds Diving Club's Chris Mears, left, and Jack Laugher
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British duo Jack Laugher and Chris Mears claimed a historic synchronised three metre springboard bronze at the World Aquatics Championships in Kazan to secure a place at the Rio Olympics next year.

The Commonwealth champions, who train at the John Charles Aquatics centre in Leeds, battled back after making a poor start to score 445.20 points to become the first British 3m synchro medallists at a World Championships.

Laugher, from Harrogate, and Mears finished behind hot favourites Cao Yuan and Qin Kai (471.45) of China, with Russia’s Ilya Zakharov and Evgeny Kuznetsov claiming silver with 459.18.

The third-placed finish for the duo, who belong to the City of Leeds Diving Club, also secured Great Britain a place in the event at the 2016 Olympics.

Laugher was delighted and told www.swimming.org: “It was a brilliant performance and there were some absolutely amazing dives from both of us.

“It’s a really special feeling and to have my best mate standing next to me as well is what makes it even sweeter.

“We couldn’t be happier and to get the Rio spot is a huge weight off our shoulders now.

“We won a silver at the London leg of the World Series and today we won bronze at the World Championships – that’s huge for us, and we’re very excited for next year.”

Both men return to action in Russia towards the end of the week as they feature in the individual 3m competition, which begins tomorrow and ends with Friday’s final.

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