North Yorkshire diver claims World Junior title

VICTORY: Laugher has claimed his third World junior title

VICTORY: Laugher has claimed his third World junior title

First published in Sport The Northern Echo: Photograph of the Author by

NORTH Yorkshire diver Jack Laugher put his Olympic disappointment behind him as he claimed the third World Junior title of his career on the opening day of the World Junior Championships in Australia.

Laugher, who is from Ripon, claimed the 3m springboard gold medal by a wide margin to confirm his standing as one of the most exciting prospects in world diving.

The 17-year-old, who won 1m and 3m springboard golds in 2010, saw one of his dives achieve a perfect ten as he posted a final score of 635.45, more than 56 points clear of his closest rival, China's Peng Jianfeng.

The success helps to make up for a disappointing Olympics that saw Laugher, who is in the world top ten in the senior rankings, crash out in the first round of the 3m springboard event as he failed to complete one of his dives.

Julian Bellan, junior development manager for British Diving, said: "It was an absolutely outstanding performance from Jack after his disappointment at the Olympic Games.

"In London he missed two of his strongest dives, but he came back here, took the challenge and performed the same two dives so well that he was in a different class from the rest of the field. It showed great character to do that and he is a deserving champion."

Laugher impressed during a four-hour preliminary round in Adelaide, and scored an impressive 94.50 for his first dive in the final, a three-and-a-half somersault effort with tuck.

His scored a perfect ten for his second three-and-a-half somersault routine, and confirmed his gold medal with his final dive, a forward two-and-a-half somersaults, two-and-a-half twists in pike that was a repeat of the dive that caused him so many problems in London and which earned a mark of 90.10.

Laugher returns to the pool later today hoping to claim a second gold medal when he partners Tom Daley in the 3m synchro event.

Daley will be making his first competitive appearance since he won an Olympic bronze medal in a memorable final of the 10m platform.

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