Laugher and Goodfellow secure Tokyo 2020 quota spot with impressive World Championship silver

The partnership flourished at the perfect moment for Jack Laugher and Dan Goodfellow after diving their way to Britain's first medal of the World Aquatics Championships.

The pair have only worked together for ten months but produced a magnificent performance to win Men’s 3m Synchro silver in Gwangju, also securing a place in the event for Team GB at next summer’s Olympic Games.

Neither Laugher nor Goodfellow are strangers to the big stage after both came home with medals from Rio 2016.

But it’s taken hard work aplenty for the two to form a medal-winning bond in less than a year, a feat which Laugher – Olympic champion in the event – knows has been far from easy.

“It’s job done when you look at it. This year has been a bit ropey for both of us – we’ve had some good highs but real lows as well, so to do that here, qualify that Olympic spot and get a silver medal, it means the world to us,” he said.

“This is Dan’s first World Championships medal and my first world silver as well, so we’re really pleased.”

Laugher and Goodfellow qualified to the final in fourth place but upped their game from the off, sitting second at the halfway stage after scoring 80.58 from their third dive.

Behind only South Korea, the British pair improved as the level of difficulty increased, taking the lead after the fourth dive thanks to consistency in their performances.

Mexico and China then pulled out stunning efforts to push the Brits into third but they held their nerve in the final dive, scoring 86.64 to total 415.02 and sit behind only China in the standings.

“I knew we were capable of doing it but actually putting a performance together is something we’re really proud of – it’s unbelievable really,” added Goodfellow.

“We’ve had a lot of bad performances throughout the World Series and maybe without them we wouldn’t have achieved what we did.

“Qualifying a space for the Olympics is amazing.”

Further medals proved agonisingly out of reach for the British team with Kat Torrance settling for an impressive fourth in the women’s 1m springboard.

Having qualified tenth, Torrance produced a consistent set of dives – notably a 54.60 score from her front 2.5 somersault tuck – to finish on 236.75.

An agonising wait ensued to see if she would reach the podium but it wasn’t to be, with Kim Su-ji earning bronze by just two points.

Not that Torrance – who will also compete with Grace Reid in the women’s 3m synchro – was too disappointed.

She said: “It’s always a bit agonising when you’re only two points off a medal but at the end of the day, it is what it is and I’m actually really happy with how I dived.

“It’s always nice to do a competition before your main one, to get the cobwebs off and get used to the environment. It’s a really big pool and quite loud, so it’s good to get used to the environment.

“In the 3m synchro, if you finish in a medal position, you get an Olympic spot, so that is the target, but we’ll only get there if we get our heads down and dive the way we dive.”

It was also a case of so close but yet so far for Noah Williams and Robyn Birch as they finished fourth in the Mixed 10m Synchro final, just two points shy of a medal, having occupied the bronze medal position until the final dive.

Sportsbeat 2019