Born in Harrogate, diver Jack Laugher has established himself as one of Great Britain’s leading 3m individual and synchro divers. The country’s first ever World Junior Champion following double gold in Arizona in 2010, Jack competes at the highest level on a regular basis, including on home soil at the London 2012 Olympic Games. He enjoyed a highly successful 2015 season, winning world individual and synchro bronze as well as taking home the individual World Series title.
In his latest blog, Jack discusses a momentous home European Aquatics Championships and contemplates the fast-approaching Olympic Games.
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I’m really happy with what I did at the European Championships this month, winning silver in the 3m springboard and gold with Chris Mears in the 3m synchro springboard.
It was a brilliant feeling competing in front of the home fans in London and to get a personal best of 456.81 in the synchro was amazing.
I’m really happy to get that PB especially with this being such an important season thanks to the Olympic Games.
That we needed a PB to hold off Russia and Ukraine shows that it wasn’t just given to us and the other divers were in great form – that makes it even more special.
Even though the Olympics is the main focus this year, we wanted a good performance at the Europeans and we knew we would be able to achieve it.
There’s a new dive that me and Chris have been working on – a forward 2 ½ somersault, 3 twists pike – and we were desperate to lay it down well in competition.
It hadn’t been fantastic in our previous attempts so it was great to pull it off this time and score 94.77.
It was a long time coming so I’m really happy. We had probably tried it in four or five competitions and it was ok but not quite on.
We knew it was just a matter of time and training though, so we never lost faith in it.
It wasn’t a new dive for me as I do it in individual competition but it was new for Chris. On the day we felt brilliant and really positive about it and then managed to nail it, so that was fantastic.
The Europeans as a whole were a brilliant event and it was great to have my family and friends there watching me.
It’s nice having everyone supporting you but the best thing about the British fans is that they will cheer every single athlete, so it makes for a great atmosphere.
Obviously they get a little bit louder for the Brits though!
Talking of support, that is a massive part of what we’re about in the British diving squad. Everybody watches every single competition and you cheer on your team-mates.
I would have quite liked to watch some of the swimming but there is only nine weeks to go to the Olympic Games so I had to get straight back to training and preparation and didn’t have time to watch any.
We’ve got the National Championships in Sheffield coming up in a couple of weeks’ time and that will be our last competition before the Olympics, so I really want to do well there.
It’s a different kind of pressure for me at the National Championships as I’m expected to win – I enjoy that though. Pond’s Forge is a great pool so it should be an interesting competition.
There’s only nine weeks to go until the Olympics which feels really close but also quite far away at the same time.
These next nine weeks will be jam-packed with a lot of stuff going on, so it will come round quickly and you’ve got to try to learn what you can from your mistakes in that period.
We’ve got a solid block of training to sort out those little problems and we feel we’re on our way to getting things perfect.
We haven’t really had a nine-week training block in ages, so that is massive but we’ve had our final international meet so we’re really on our way to actually being there.
It’s getting closer every single day and people are doing the countdowns on Twitter and that sort of thing, so it is creeping up but we’ll be ready when that day comes. It will be fun.