Leeds diver Jack Laugher completed the first part of a possible hat-trick with men’s one-metre springboard gold on day one of the Commonwealth Games diving programme.
The 23-year-old ace dominated today to successfully defend the title he won at Glasgow 2014. The 3m springboard takes place tomorrow, when Laugher will bid to upgrade the silver he won four years ago.
Laugher is the Olympic champion in the 3m synchronised springboard event with Chris Mears, with the pair slated to compete on Friday at the Gold Coast Aquatics Centre.
“The Commonwealth Games mean a lot to me, I’ve watched them since I was a kid and they’ve always been a huge highlight in my four-year cycle,” said Laugher, who won two gold medals four years ago.
“It was difficult to come out here as defending champion but I trusted myself and felt strong and confident.
“I’ve really high hopes, training has been going great.”
Laugher, the leading qualifier, led throughout the six-round competition and triumphed with a score of 438.00 to take gold ahead of Australia’s James Connor (412.45).
Sir Peter Heatly won three gold medals in the 1950s and was Scotland’s only diving medallist - until now. His grandson, 20-year-old James Heatly scored 399.25 to take bronze.
Heatly was emotional afterwards, thinking about his grandfather, who died in 2015 after watching his grandson compete at the Royal Commonwealth Pool in Edinburgh at the last Commonwealth Games.
“It means everything, because my Grandpa was a diver and to bring another medal back and to be the first Scottish diver to do it since him is incredible,” Heatly said.
Leeds-based Jamaican Yona Knight-Wisdom, who pushes the board into the water before propelling into the air, was fourth.
Earlier, City of Leeds Diving Club’s Alicia Blagg and Katherine Torrance finished with silver in the women’s synchronised three-metres springboard event.
Blagg won gold in the event four years ago with the now retired Rebecca Gallantree and finished on the podium once more as Esther Qin and Georgia Sheehan of Australia took gold.
Blagg was content with silver, but there was a tinge of disappointment despite only being partnered with Torrance since their arrival in Australia two weeks ago.
The Miami-based 21-year-old Wakefield diver said: “I’m pleased, but I know I personally could’ve dived a lot better. My fourth dive I dropped. Katherine, from what I saw, dived incredibly and held her own. I’m really proud of her.”
Torrance added: “We’ve only trained together for the time we’ve been here, which is about two weeks, so we thought ‘we’ll just wing it’ and it went pretty well. I’m crazy pleased.”