Euro champs sick at fading away after a brilliant start
TONIA COUCH and Sarah Barrow failed to end Britain’s half-century wait for a female Olympic diving medallist.
The Plymouth-born duo, who have known each other since childhood, put in a disappointing performance in the 10m platform synchro.
They had entered the competition with hopes of a medal after being crowned European champions in May.
They began strongly to be second after the opening two compulsory dives but then immediately missed their next inward three-and-a-half somersault to drop down to sixth.
It left them with too much ground to make up as they had to be content with fifth place – way off their podium aim after they won bronze in the same company at the World Cup in this same pool in February.
Barrow admitted they had fallen short of expectation after a strong start.
“I’m disappointed but I thought we did good in the first two rounds,” the 23-year-old said.
“I was really excited about that.
“There was a little bit of a drop from me on the inward, but I thought we fought back and a good twist at the end again put us back up into fifth.”
The British duo’s score was better than the total they managed when winning the European title in Eindhoven two months ago.
And Couch, who was competing at her second Olympics after reaching the individual and synchro finals in Beijing four years ago, found reason for cheer.
“We both had a great experience. Our first two dives were brilliant and it gave us a definite boost.
“Our options weren’t as good as normal but we scored a lot higher than when we became European champions, so I think it is still a great performance.”
Chen Ruolin and Wang Hao were very comfortable winners to claim China’s third gold medal in as many events at the diving pool so far, ahead of Mexico and Canada.
NO MEDAL: Couch and Barrow