JACK Laugher insists the fact that he now gets to dive with his best friend already makes him a winner – but that doesn’t mean he isn’t eyeing up World Series medals this year.
Aged just 19 Laugher has already completed diving’s major international set – appearing at World and European Championships, a Commonwealth Games and not to mention the London 2012 Olympics.
But, where as Laugher has predominantly competed individually, this year will see him add another string to his bow and he forms a 3m synchro partnership with best friend Chris Mears.
They are yet to make their competitive bow however with Mears still sidelined with injuries to both his ankles, meaning last month’s opening World Series legs in China and Dubai passed them by.
However they are on course to showcase their talents as the World Series arrives in London and Laugher is convinced his return to the Olympic pool will be a happy one.
“It is absolutely brilliant that I get to dive with Chris,” said Laugher, who finished 27th in the 3m springboard on his Olympic debut at London 2012.
“He is my best mate and he now lives about a minute down the corridor from me in the same building. It is great to have him up here with me. And I think the partnership can be a successful one, we have been best mates for years and it is cool to be able to dive with your best mate.
“It will be wicked to compete in London again, especially doing it with Chris because we both have such great memories of diving there at the Olympics.
“Even though we haven’t competed together yet myself and Chris have really high hopes for our partnership and we believe we can really achieve something,
“We want to show the world what we are about right from the off and that means having a good start in London and we are confident of doing exactly that.”
As well as competing in the 3m synchro Laugher will also be going it alone this season, having won 1m and 3m springboard gold at the British Gas National Cup in January.
While Mears didn’t compete in China and Dubai, Laugher finished sixth in the 3m springboard at both and he is adamant he can improve on that in the capital.
“This year has been pretty good for me so far because I won the Nationals back in January and recorded two sixth-place finishes in China and Dubai,” he added.
“I actually got a new personal best in the preliminaries in Dubai so that was good, even if I thought I should have finished slightly higher because I messed up one of my dives.
“But that shows that I am moving in the right direction and I feel there is still plenty more to come from me so hopefully I can prove that in London.”
Tickets to see Jack Laugher compete at the FINA/NVC Diving World Series (April 25-27) are still available. Go to www.swimming.org/finadiving/tickets to get your seat at the London Aquatics Centre.