Comfort food for beaten British divers

31 July 2012 / 17:33

Tonia Couch was set to console herself with "a McDonald's or a pizza" after she and Sarah Barrow missed out on an Olympic medal in the women's platform synchro diving competition.

Part-time model Couch and her team-mate Barrow, who have known each other since childhood, had entered the competition with hopes of a medal after they were crowned European champions in May.

And while the 23-year-old Plymouth-born duo bettered that score, they were left well short of the medals in a highly-competitive final won by China's Chen Ruolin and Wang Hao.

The Britons had been second after the compulsory dives but like their male counterparts, Tom Daley and Pete Waterfield, they were undone by one missed dive. They dropped from second to sixth after Barrow over-rotated on their third dive, an inward three-and-a-half somersaults, before recovering slightly to claim fifth.

"We would've needed a personal best because the other three that got a medal dived absolutely brilliantly," Couch said. "I think that was the best we've ever dived internationally, so we can't be too down about it. It would've been hard to get that medal and the top three did deserve it.

"We're going to chill out now. We've had a such a long, long time to train really hard and it's been so intense. I think I'm just going to get myself a McDonald's or a pizza. I've been looking at that. It's been free and it's been teasing me every day, so I can't wait to just chill out."

Barrow was most culpable for the missed dive after she over-rotated to draw scores as low as 5.5 and there was no way back for the pair who have known each other since joining the same gymnastics class in Plymouth as seven year olds. Their fifth placing also meant Britain's 52-year wait for a female Olympic diving medallist would continue on.

"I am slightly disappointed but I thought we did good first two rounds - I was really excited about that," Barrow, who now lives in Leeds, said. "Obviously there was a little bit of a drop from me on the inward, but I thought we fought back and a good twist at the end again put us back up into fifth."

Barrow denied the pair had frozen under the pressure of an Olympics - their first as a pairing - in front of 17,500 fans at the Aquatics Centre.

"No, I think we were definitely encouraged. We had a practise at it at a World Cup," she said. "We didn't have anything like that before, so we knew what was coming and we were ready."