British duo strike gold in Eindhoven

17 May 2012 / 20:23

Tonia Couch and Sarah Barrow ended Great Britain's 74-year wait for a female European Diving Championships title in Eindhoven.

The 10metre platform synchro duo had to come from behind on their final dive to ensure an historic success, beating Ukraine by 8.88 points.

Couch and Barrow had found themselves behind for the first time with a dive remaining, but responded with a nerveless back two-and-a-half somersault one-and-a-half twists.

It secured Team GB their first medal of this week's six-day meet and the first European gold by a British female since Betty Slade in 1938. The win also continued the pairing's dream 12 months during which they have shot into Olympic medal contention.

After finishing fourth at last year's World Championships they took bronze at February's World Cup - the first-ever British women's medal at a worldwide meet - before establishing themselves as Europe's best in a personal-best 319.56 in Eindhoven.

"We've done a few records now," Couch told Press Association Sport.

"It is really exciting. Tonight our aim was to win the gold and we dived really well. It was our personal best, which makes it even better, but even then we think we can go better. Today wasn't the best we can do and we scored our highest score."

Earlier, Jack Laugher underlined his growing reputation as he also returned a personal best 475.75 to finish sixth in a world-class 3m springboard final.

Laugher barely put a foot wrong, en route to a score that would have won him gold two years ago, as his rivals produced a masterclass. France's Matthieu Rosset (504.00) took gold - and scored the first 10 of the meet - ahead of defending champions Patrick Hausding (502.75) and world bronze medallist Ilya Zakharov (493.80).

"It's was the probably the highest-scoring final I've ever seen at Europeans," Laugher said. "It was kind of crazy. There was a lot of 9 and 9.5s going around. But for me it was a PB. My reverse three-and-a-half was a lot better in the prelims but I don't really care - 474 is a really good score. I'm saving it all for the future I think."