British pair eye European chance

14 May 2012 / 15:51

Women's synchro platform pair Tonia Couch and Sarah Barrow will look to build on a timely breakthrough year at this week's European Diving Championships in Eindhoven.

The duo have stamped themselves as genuine medal contenders for this summer's London Olympics following a run of impressive results.

The first of those came at February's World Cup at the Olympic Aquatics Centre when, spurred on by a partisan home support, they snatched an historic bronze medal.

It was the first time Britain had celebrated a female diving medal in such exalted company and, perhaps more importantly for Couch and Barrow, ended their run of frustrating near misses.

The duo finished fourth at the 2010 Commonwealth Games, before falling just short again at last year's World Championships in Shanghai.

"It was good to get on that podium, especially in a major competition," said Couch. "It definitely gave us that extra bit of belief we needed after the World Champs.

"We showed we were close but to do it was important. Now we can take that into competitions and then at the Olympics, with that home crowd cheering us on, it makes you feel like you can improve even more."

A couple of mixed results followed, however, at the World Series, including a forgettable meet in the dilapidated surrounds of the 1980 Olympic pool in Moscow. They managed sixth in the Russian capital with a score of 296.76 - some 20 points adrift of their World Cup mark.

Encouragingly, though, they followed that disappointment with a return to the podium in the final leg of the series in Tijuana, Mexico when they again took bronze.

Barrow added: "We had to move on from that and get back our consistency, and to do it straight after in Mexico was good for us."