Euro champs sick at fad­ing away af­ter a bril­liant start

DIV­ING

Midweek Sport - - THURSDAY AUG 1 -

Boost

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

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