A scorching performance saw Leeds diver Jack Laugher claim his second gold medal of the Commonwealth Games to set up a Gold Coast hat-trick bid tomorrow.
“I was on fire from the start,” said Laugher, who added the men’s three metres springboard title to the one metre gold he claimed yesterday.
The 23-year-old diver finished with a score of 519.40 points - 66.70 clear of his nearest challenger.
Canada’s Philippe Gagne took silver with 452.70 and bronze went to Australia’s James Connor with 438.50, while England’s Ross Haslam was fourth and Scotland’s James Heatly fifth.
It was a fourth Commonwealth gold for Laugher, who upgraded the silver he won at Glasgow 2014.
And the victory came after Laugher qualified in a lowly fifth under the hot morning sun. The Yorkshireman thrived under the dark, floodlit skies.
“I’m really proud of my score,” he added. “I was very emotional on the podium then. I love the England anthem (Jerusalem).
“And to be able to hear that and think about how gutted I was back in Glasgow and then come here to absolutely smash it today and win the gold medal, it really means a lot to me.
“Sometimes after an upset you do come back stronger. After Glasgow I’ve come back here with the intention to try to win it and I have done today, so I’m really proud of myself.”
Further emotion followed for Laugher when he hugged girlfriend Lois Toulson after she claimed bronze in the women’s 10m platform behind Australia’s Melissa Wu.
Toulson said: “It meant a lot for him to come over and give me a hug.
“I wasn’t expecting a medal at all. I just really wanted to dive well and I’m really pleased with how I did.”
Laugher’s bid for a third gold medal of the Games will come in the synchronised 3m springboard final where Chris Mears will be his partner.
The housemates will be overwhelming favourites here. The duo won Glasgow 2014 gold and then two years later added the European title in London and Great Britain’s first Olympic diving gold in Rio.
“I’m going to get my head down, get some rest tonight and recover for tomorrow so I can hopefully go out there and complete that hat-trick,” added Laugher, who won Olympic silver in the 3m springboard.
Laugher was present when Jerusalem was re-recorded for these Games, with England long-jumper Jazmin Sawyers the lead singer.
But he is not planning to emulate para-swimming champion Ellie Robinson by singing on the podium if he wins alongside Mears tomorrow.
He added: “I’m unfortunately not a great singer so I won’t be doing that. I prefer to just sit there and feel how emotional it is to me.”
Tom Daley, the 10m platform world champion, will make his sole Commonwealth appearance on Friday, in the men’s synchronised 10m platform event with Dan Goodfellow. The pair won Olympic bronze in Rio.
Daley has withdrawn from Saturday’s individual event with a hip injury.