Jack Laugher and Chris Mears etched their names into the history books as they became Great Britain’s first ever 3m synchro medallists at a World Championships – securing Team GB’s first diving Rio quota place in the process.
The duo, winners of Commonwealth Games gold together last year, went into the final in Kazan as the fourth-highest pairing after the morning preliminaries.
The prize on offer should they secure a podium finish could not have been higher with a chance not only to make history in the medal stakes but also book an Olympics berth for Great Britain.
And while starting slowly, Laugher and Mears found their rhythm to sail past their previous best score of 433.80 to finish on 445.20 and clinch bronze.
Hot favourites Cao Yuan and Qin Kai took gold on 471.45 to win China’s sixth consecutive men’s 3m synchro title while Illya Zakharov and Evgeny Kuznetsov provided the home fans with plenty to cheer with their third straight Worlds silver on 459.18.
However Laugher could not wipe the smile off his own face after his and Mears medal-winning efforts.
"It was a brilliant performance and there were some absolutely amazing dives from both of us," said Laugher, competing in 3m Synchro for the first time at a World Championships.
"It's a really special feeling and to have my best mate standing next to me as well is what makes it even sweeter.
"We couldn’t be happier and to get the Rio spot is a huge weight off our shoulders now.
"We won a silver at the London leg of the World Series and today we won bronze at the World Championships – that’s huge for us, and we’re very excited for next year."
Preparation for the event had been hampered by a niggling injury to Mears’ back but the 22-year-old, who finished seventh and eighth in the 3m synchro at the last two World Championships, was determined to battle through the pain.
Not only did the result represent Great Britain’s first medal of the 2015 Championships but it also the first piece of silverware won by any British diver since Tom Daley’s gold in 2009.
"My preparation coming into the event wasn’t what I wanted it to be with my back," said Mears, who like Laugher, will go again in the 3m individual springboard prelims on Thursday.
"It still hurts a little bit right now - it's a bit temperamental but I'm still able to do my dives.
"I think it just proves that if you're in the right mindset, you can achieve anything.
"It's such a fantastic feeling to go out there and smash it like that considering we've had such a difficult season and training has been disrupted."
© Sportsbeat 2015