DESPITE agonisingly missing out on a Diving World Series in London, Jack Laugher believes a huge personal best score shows his senior career is finally looking bright.
The 19-year-old became the first British man to break the 500-point mark in the 3m springboard event as he posted 517.60 to finish fourth on the Olympic boards at the London Aquatics Centre.
He also received a score of over 100 points for an individual dive for the first time in his career, softening the blow of missing out on bronze by under six points from Russia's Evgeny Kuznetsov.
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Gold went to China's Chong He with a score of 559 while Ilya Zakharov took silver for a Russian two-three, but an excited Laugher was only looking at the positives.
"That was a massive 30-point personal best. I've been trying a year and a half to get over 500," said Laugher, from Ripon, who also finished fourth in the 3m synchro event with partner Chris Mears.
"I had a couple of mistakes in there, but I went over 100 for the first time too so that is another personal best for myself. To come fourth is a bit sour but those guys put out a massive performance. I'd love to get a medal next week.
"Everything is kicking off and being serious now and it's a really good feeling to be playing with the big boys."
Laugher's final score was even more impressive considering he dropped his third dive - an inward three-and-a-half somersault with tuck - and received the lowest score for an individual effort of all the finalists on the night.
But he bounced back - his overall score would have seen him win silver at the past two World Championships - and he's already eyeing up going one step further at next weekend's fourth leg in Moscow.
"It is difficult when you drop a dive but with the World Series, because of the quick turnaround, you've just to take every dive by dive," he added.
"You've got to bin everything, even if you go 100, you have to bin it and get onto the next dive.
"I've never won a World Series medal so it would be incredible if I could do that next week.
"But the Russians who beat me here will be on their home turf so it will be a little bit difficult but I will go there confident certainly."
Make a splash in the spectacular London Aquatics Centre at Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park. The iconic venue has been designed for swimmers of all abilities, from absolute beginners to Olympic and Paralympic champions. Entry is the same price as local leisure centre swimming pools and sessions can be booked in advance online.